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09.15.2005

Abengoa, ACS and Sacyr finalize the financing arrangements for their second desalination plant in Algeria

Madrid, September 15, 2005.-On September 10, the Spanish groups Abengoa, ACS and Sacyr Vallehermoso signed the financing contract with Banque Exterior d’Algerie (BEA), in Algiers, to develop the construction project of the second of the two seawater desalination plants they are going to build and operate in Algeria. The financing for the first of the projects was arranged with Banque Nationalle d’Algerie (BNA) on July 31, 2005. Both facilities, once completed, will be the North African country’s largest desalination plants and will be among those with the highest reverse osmosis system production capacity in the world.

The investment required to develop the Beni Saf plant, which will be built in the proximities of the city of Oran, to the west of the North African country and close to the border with Morocco, is 160 million dollars and it is the second project finance scheme to be arranged in Algeria with a local bank. The construction works will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2007.

In may 2004, the GEIDA Consortium, formed by the Abengoa companies Befesa and Codesa, ACS’s Cobra-Tedagua, and Sacyr Vallehermoso’s Sadyt, was awarded the construction and 25-year operation concession contract for the Beni Saf desalination plant. The facility will produce, utilizing a reverse osmosis system, 150,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day and will supply a population of 750,000.

This same consortium, in which each of the companies has a 25 per cent interest, was awarded a month earlier, in April 2004, the contract to construct and operate another desalination plant in Skikda. The financing process for this first plant, with a production capacity of 100,000 cubic meters a day of drinking water to supply a population of 500,000, was finalized towards the end of last July. The company Expansion Exterior, in which the ICEX and the BBVA have an interest, is acting as GEIDA’s financial advisor for both operations.

Once both desalination plants, representing an overall investment of 280 million dollars, are in operation, the Spanish consortium will have an installed production capacity in Algeria of 250,000 cubic meters a day that will serve to provide drinking water to a population of 1,250,000.

Estimates are for the Beni Saf plant to provide revenues throughout its 25-year operating life of more than 800 million dollars from water sales, while revenue estimates for the Skikda plant are around 540 million dollars. The Algeria government has established an ambitious desalination plan to alleviate the country’s water shortage. Its short-term objective is to achieve the production of a million cubic meters of desalinated water a day.

Abengoa, a listed industrial and technology company with treasury stock in excess of 1,200 million euro, provides solutions for Sustainable Development, the Information and Knowledge Society, and the Creation of Infrastructures. It currently operates in four large sectors; Bioethanol, in which it is the world’s number two bioethanol producer; Environmental Services, in which it is European leader in segments of the industrial waste market; Information Technologies, in which it is one of the main role players at international level with operations in Europe, the Americas, and Asia; and Industrial Engineering and Construction, in which it is leader in Spain and Latin America (www.abengoa.com)