Algeria, Qatar ink steel plant deal

January 08, 2013 - 12:00:00 am

HH the Emir  Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (L) is welcomed by Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika upon his arrival at the Boumediene airport on January 7, 2012 in Algiers. AFP photo/ Farouk Batiche


ALGIERS:  Algeria and Qatar on Monday signed nine accords, including for the construction of a steel plant, during a visit to the north African country by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.


The OPEC countries signed cooperation accords in the maritime transport, oil and gas, and petrochemical sectors, Algeria's state-run APS news agency reported.


The agreement to jointly build a steel plant in Bella, 300 kilometres (190 miles) east of Algiers was signed in the presence of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the Emir of Qatar.


The industrial complex will have a production capacity of 10 million tonnes of steel per year, helping Algeria to slash its total import costs by an estimated 10 billion dollars annually, or 20 percent, according to Algerian sources.


Official media did not specify the estimated cost of the project.


But pro-government daily El-Moudjahid on Monday reported that the total estimated cost of the energy, mining and industry agreements to be signed during the Emir's one-day visit was around five billion dollars. (AFP)