Canadian Consulting Engineer

Feature

SNC-Lavalin Water Transfer from Taksebt Dam

This project supplies drinking water from the Taksebt Dam to a population of four million people along the Tizi Ouzou-Algiers corridor in Algeria. Previously water was only being delivered a few days ...


Management team at water treatment plant.
Management team at water treatment plant.

This project supplies drinking water from the Taksebt Dam to a population of four million people along the Tizi Ouzou-Algiers corridor in Algeria. Previously water was only being delivered a few days a week to the cities along this corridor, including the city of Algiers.

The water transfer project covers a distance of approximately 80 kilometres and is the largest project of this type involving both the treatment and transportation of water in Africa.

Algeria’s Agence nationale des barrages et transferts (ANBT) contracted SNC-Lavalin to design, build and operate the water treatment and transfer operations for the US $700-million project. The huge project — 605,000 m capacity — was completed in 37 months in 2009. SNC-Lavalin will operate the plant for five years.

The work included:

• a raw water pumping station with a capacity of 7.15 m/s and a total dynamic head of 59 m;

• a drinking water treatment plant with a capacity of 605,000 m/day;

• 92 kilometres of ductile iron pipes, 1.8 and 2.0 metres diameter;

• four tunnels, 2.5 m internal diameter, totalling 11.4 kilometres;

• six reservoirs, two of 50,000 m;

• a rechlorination station at Boudouaou;

• a centralized fibre optic telecommunications system.

Completing a project of this size in a foreign country in such a short time not only requires experience, adaptability and daring, but also an excellent relationship with the client.

In addition to providing a water supply, the Algerian project led to major social and economic spin-offs for Algeria. SNC-Lavalin opted for a multi-disciplinary team composed of 95% Algerians, supervised by the experienced Canadian employees. The design (hydraulics, water treatment, structures, tunnels, mechanical and electrical engineering, telecommunications) as well as global coordination were executed by the Canadian team. Meanwhile, SNC-Lavalin employed over 3,000 Algerians in all areas of the project (engineering, procurement, construction, quality control, environment, etc.) and indirectly employed tens of thousands of others. This organizational structure supported the transfer of skills to the Algerian employees, giving them reliable training in the field of construction and the ability to find work in this field. Some are still employed by the company on other projects.

The Canadian employees adapted to the local culture and customs in Algeria, including working in a different language and respecting local business practices. The employees, both local and Canadian, learned to work together and demonstrated flex-ibility for the sake of the project.