ALGIERS, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Algeria announced on Wednesday deal with China's CITIC to finalize the remaining 84 km eastern section of the east-west highway near the Tunisian border, reported APS news agency.
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika approved the contract between the Algerian Motorways Agency (AAA) and the Chinese construction firm of CITIC, the source said.
A statement of the Council of Ministers specified that Bouteflika instructed the government to finish the mega project as soon as possible.
In October of 2014, the Algerian government cancelled the contract with the Japanese public work consortium Cojaal over delay in the completion of a 84 km section part of the east-west motorway.
By then, the government said the completion works would be assigned to other companies, noting that works would be done at lower cost than that proposed by Cojaal.
In 2006, Cojaal, a group of Japanese companies, snatched a 5 billion U.S. dollars worth contract to establish 359 km section part of the east-west highway, from the eastern province of Bourdj Bou Arreridj to the Tunisian border, within a 40 months term.
However, the Japanese group required additional payments to complete the project but the government rejected.
Algerian highway authorities have issued two formal warnings to Cojaal about the growing delays plaguing the project. In response, the Japanese consortium decided to take a legal action against the Algerian government at an international arbitration court.