As part of the October 26 meeting of the Algerian French Economic Joint Committee (COMEFA) a memorandum of understanding was signed between SYSTRA and SNTF in the presence of Laurent Fabius, French foreign and international development minister, and Abdeslam Bouchouareb, Algerian Industry and Mines minister. The MOU provides for the creation of a joint venture under Algerian law to conduct studies, monitor and control rail systems projects in Algeria. The company will be 49% owned by SYSTRA and 51% by SNTF.
"Yacine Bendjaballah, CEO of SNTF, and myself share the same commitment to this project which should very quickly lead to the emergence of a leading Algerian player in the field of rail systems engineering. We are delighted with this agreement, another stage in the cooperation between SNTF and our group," said Pierre Verzat, Chairman of SYSTRA's executive board. "The new company, whose fields of expertise will cover signalling, telecommunications, electrical traction and operational engineering, will further accelerate achievement of the ambitious targets for the Algerian rail network, including among other projects the deployment by 2020 of a latest-generation rail network and equipment," he added.
Through their joint venture, SNTF and SYSTRA will develop local engineering skills with a strong "systems" technology component, essential to complete the demanding development and modernisation programme for a rail network that is planned to grow from 4,000 km to 12,000 km in the next 10 years. A joint venture closely tied to rail operator SNTF will make it possible to meet these demands by drawing on local resources and to develop Algerian know-how in the key fields of rail electrification and signalling. Around thirty Algerian engineers will be recruited and trained. Experience acquired in similar projects has shown just how closely railway systems engineering is linked to operational issues and why it needs to remain in the operator's hands, ensuring quicker progression from the upstream design phases of projects to the downstream phases of monitoring and project management.
As well as ensuring prompt completion, the synergy of the new joint venture should allow better control of engineering expenses which will from now on be handled locally with the direct creation of some fifty highly qualified jobs.
"This MOU forms part of the engineering plank of the broader agreement signed by SNCF and SNTF on 10 September, which set the framework for cooperation between the two groups. I welcome the commitment of Chairman Guillaume Pepy and the effective support given by Minister Boudjema Talaï", added Pierre Verzat.
The global leader in public transport infrastructure, SYSTRA, an engineering subsidiary of RATP and SNCF, has specialised in the mass transit and rail market since 1957. Its ambition is to serve emerging needs for collective and sustainable mobility throughout the world. Revenues in 2014: € 527 million ; 5,100 employees around the world. SYSTRA posted the best growth in its industry in 2014 and plans to recruit several thousand new employees over the next four years. With a presence in 78 countries, SYSTRA manages over 3,500 contracts throughout the world. In France, SYSTRA is working on the four high-speed rail lines currently under construction, including the South Europe Atlantic line under a PPP. In the UK, SYSTRA is responsible for electrification of the Edinburgh-Glasgow line. In Saudi Arabia, SYSTRA is helping build the 2,750 km North South Railway. The Group has also contributed to the construction of one out of every two metro systems in the world and is working on Lines 15, 16 and 17 of the Grand Paris Express transit project. In Asia, SYSTRA is working on Line 6 of the Delhi metro and on Line 16 of the Shanghai metro, which will be the world’s longest elevated metro. SYSTRA is also involved in the construction of two new automated metro lines in Santiago, Chile, and in the automation of a 23 km stretch of the rapid transit line between Epping and Chatswood in Australia. Its subsidiary Canarail recently won the contract to renovate the rolling stock of prestigious tourist train the Rocky Mountaineer in Canada.