Africa Ascending: Partnering with Algeria to Drive Growth
With GDP growth accelerating from just over 3% in 2013 to forecasts of more than 4% both this year and next, Algeria exemplifies the optimism about economic development and opportunity that is spreading across North Africa. The country’s growth this year likely will be fueled by the oil & gas sector and public investment in infrastructure.
When Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal held discussions today with Jeffrey Immelt, GE’s Chairman and CEO, Immelt reiterated GE’s four-decades of partnership to support Algeria’s economic development and diversification. In part, this is by putting its advanced technologies to work to support Algeria’s competitiveness in areas such as healthcare, water and power generation, and aviation. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the President Barack Obama – hosted U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.
Among GE’s initiatives are partnerships with Algeria’s leading companies, including the 20-year-old ALGESCO turbomachinery service center in Algeria, a joint venture between GE, Algeria’s national oil & gas company Sonatrach and Algeria’s national electricity and gas company Sonelgaz. Also this spring, GE signed a joint venture agreement with Sonelgaz to establish a manufacturing company called GE Turbines Algeria (GEAT) that will develop an industrial complex to manufacture GE’s advanced 9F gas turbines, steam turbines, generators and control systems. GEAT will supply some components of a massive $2.7 billion contract awarded by Sonelgaz to GE last year that will help add almost 9 gigawatts of power-generating capacity.
One of the most recent projects in Algeria in partnership with Sonelgaz includes the installation of eight TM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbine-generators to help the Algerian Electricity Generation Company meet peak power demands and strengthen local grid reliability. The eight units are scheduled to begin commercial operation beginning of August 2014.
As Immelt noted in his meeting with Prime Minister Sellal, GE’s operations in the country support Algerian industry, its supply chain of small and medium enterprises, and job creation and human capital development.
GE’s engagement in Algeria’s development also includes majority ownership in the Hamma Desalination Plant, the largest membrane desalination facility in Africa, and the presence of GE technologies supporting nearly 70% of the electricity distributed across the country. GE operates the GE Healthcare Advanced Applications Center, while more than 2,200 GE healthcare technologies are in use across the country. In aviation, every 25 minutes a flight powered by GE and partner engines takes off from the country’s airports.