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Befesa and its participated company Codesa are awarded seawater desalination plant works in Algeria for 130 million euro

May 26, 2004

Madrid, 26th May 2004.- The Spanish consortium Geida, formed by Befesa Medio Ambiente, Abengoa's leading Environmental Services company, its participated company Codesa, Cobra (ACS) and Sadyt (Sacyr-Vallehermorsa), has been awarded the contract to construct, and subsequently operate, a seawater desalination plant in Oran, Algeria. The required investment is 130 million euro.

The plant's desalination capacity will be 150,000 cubic meters of water a day and it will provide the supply for some 750,000 inhabitants. The coming into operation of the desalination plant is scheduled for 2007 and therefore, the contract establishes a works execution period of 24 months. With the awarding of the execution of this plant in Oran, and the previous contract awarded for that of Skikda, Geida's total installed capacity in Algeria will be 250,000 cubic meters of water a day.

This project, the second one this consortium has been awarded in Algeria so far this year, is included under an ambitious desalination program the Algerian government is undertaking. Both contracts have been assessed by the financial agent of Expansión Exterior, a company directed by the Ministry of Economy and the Exchequer of Spain.

In the words of Befesa's chairman, Javier Molina, "with this contract, Befesa, a company specialized in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of large environmental facilities, consolidates its leading position at world level in the desalination sector, an activity it has been developing for over 20 years, with an installed capacity in Spain of more than 400,000 cubic meters of water a day, enough to supply two million inhabitants from the Almeria, Cartagena, Carboneras (Almeria) and Atabal (Malaga) plants, among others".

The Geida consortium will subsequently associate itself with the public utilities Algerian Energy Company (AEC) and Aguas de Argelia (ADE) to operate the plant for an initial 25-year period, which will result in revenue of almost 800 million euro. The Spanish companies will control between 60 and 70 per cent of the share capital of the company that will operate the new desalination plant, while the two local public utilities will hold the rest.

Befesa, Abengoa's listed Environmental Services subsidiary, closed 2003 with share capital in excess of 355 million euro. Sales were 356.5 million euro and profit was 8.4 million euro. Furthermore, it managed a total of 1,230,000 tons of industrial wastes in 2003.

Abengoa, a listed industrial and technology company with share capital in excess of 522 million euro (31.12.2003), provides solutions for Sustainable Development, the Information and Knowledge Society and the Creation of Infrastructures. It currently operates in four large activity sectors: Bioenergy, where it is the world's second largest bioethanol producer; Environmental Services, where it is European leader in certain segments of the industrial wastes market; Information Technologies, where it is one of the main international role players, with operations in Europe, America and Asia; and Industrial Engineering and Construction, where it is leader in Spain and Latin America. (

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