Port of Algiers, the country's principal maritime facility
for general cargo and passengers
Courtesy United Nations
Shipping is also a government monopoly run by the state concern,
the National Corporation for Maritime Transport and the Algerian
National Navigation Company (Société Nationale de Transports Maritimes
et Compagnie Nationale Algérienne de Navigation--SNTM-CNAN). SNTM-CNAN
started with nine vessels in 1971; in the late 1980s the organization
owned seventy vessels and twenty tugboats. Although the Ministry
of Transport is responsible for coordinating maritime functions,
semiautonomous port authorities created in 1984 handle port operations.
Algeria's major ports--Algiers, Annaba, Oran, Skikda, Bejaïa,
and Mostaganem--handled about 84 million tons of cargo in 1990.
The three largest ports handled 71 percent of total traffic in
1991; Algiers took 32 percent, Annaba 23 percent, and Oran 16
percent. Bejaïa and Skikda remain important ports for exporting
hydrocarbons and minerals, Mostaganem handles general cargo, and
Arzew boasts large LNG terminals. The new container port of Djendjene
near Jijel, funded by Saudi Arabia and built by an Italian-Dutch
consortium, is to serve the planned Bellara steelworks in eastern
Algeria. The port may need a massive financial infusion to make
it fully operative.
The need to develop container facilities, especially at the congested
Algiers port, and to continue modernizing other ports ranked high
on the government's priority list in 1992. The World Bank provided
a US$63 million loan in 1989 to upgrade the port facilities of
Algiers, Annaba, and Oran. In connection with port improvement
programs, the government needed to clarify the division of responsibility
between the Ministry of Transport, which has authority to coordinate
all port operations, and the Ministry of Public Works, which oversees
construction and maintenance of port infrastructures.
Data as of December 1993