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Fri 10 Jul 2009 04:00 AM

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Algeria enters new era

Investment conditions in the energy sector have improved.

Algeria enters new era

The trend of contracts awarded by the Algerian energy state controlled company Sonatrach is tremendous. In the last two weeks more than four contracts have been awarded worth more than US$1bn for each, according to the flow of contracts awarding, it seems that Algeria is the only country in the region where there is something really happening.Algeria now is trying to catch the train taking advantage of the cash windfall generated from high oil prices, especially with project costs coming down, Algiers' newfound appetite for pushing schemes through quickly could work to the advantage of all concerned.

As the main concern of the government is to create jobs, I think that it is best for the country to focus on downstream as it does open some interesting derivative opportunities the country needs.

All the components of success are ready for the country, whether in energy sector or in any other sector, the government is calling investors to come and invest in the country as it will provide facilities to companies as it looks now for win - win partnership. Though the government provides facilities and encouragement for foreign investments, it also requires that the foreign partner is serious in his investments and not just looking to make quick buck and then left.

Investors are requested to help the country to create jobs and bring advanced knowhow to Algeria.

The golden rule to those who want to invest in Algeria and to take advantage of feedstock, skilled labors and approximate to European market is to be consistent and insistent and to not let a few bumps in the road to stop the investments.

Investments conditions in the country's energy sector have improved according to MEED magazine's third annual survey on MENA's major state owned energy companies. The average score for transparency in contract awards and the tender process in the region has risen to 3.2. Sonatrach scores five points for this key performance indicator, where participants in the poll have praised the company's decision to modernise and make financial and technical data publicly available.

Abdelghani Henni is the editor of Petrochemicals Middle East.

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