POMA - Strong Partner to Africa’s Major Cableway Country
Like South America, Algeria, too, is an epicenter of urban mobility on rope. Urban cableways have been operating in this north-African country for years now. The establishment of the Algerian cableway company ETAC and the construction of numerous new cableways represents an important milestone.
The cableway in Tlemcen connects the inner city with the Plateau Lalla Setti.
The “Algerian Transport Company by Cables” or, shortly, ETAC, has been in existence since 2014 and represents a joint venture between the French cableway manufacturer POMA and the Algerian state, specifically the Algiers Metro Enterprise (EMA) and the Algerian state owen group TRANSTEV. For the 4 four years, ETAC has been in charge of the operation, management & maintenance of the cableway network across the country.
Cableways have a tradition
In addition, the cableway company is also meant to evaluate, plan and construct new cableways in the country. Even today the number of urban cableways is quite remarkable as many installations, both reversible and circulating, were built in cities like Constantine, Tlemcen, Skikda, Annaba, Chréa in Blida Province, and Oran. The capital of Algiers even has an entire network of cableways consisting of six different lines.
Reasons for the affection for cableways
Algeria’s fondness for cableways is due to its dense infrastructure, narrow streets and steep topography of its major cities. Here, cableways bridge hillsides and link the lower-lying quarters with those situated in the middle or upper sections of the cities. They also ensure that street traffic does not worsen even further. The early and broad acceptance of cableways can be attributed to the large traffic volumes and frequent gridlock that have been characteristic of these cities for a long time.
Two new cableways implemented
It is thus no wonder that POMA has recently had an opportunity to build yet another two cableways in Algeria. In Algiers, a new gondola lift now connects the neighborhood of Bab El Oued with the higher-situated village of Zghara. From now on, this suburb will be easily accessible to all 6.7 million residents living in the capital. What’s more: the installation is among ETAC’s 19-kilometer-long cableway network, thus playing an effective role in local public transport. Its comfortable 66 cabins are equipped with night-time illumination.
The city of Tlemcen, too, has added another cableway to its existing installation. This city of 130,000 is situated in the middle of the rugged mountain range Tell Atlas. Cableways are crucial for this city of narrow and twisting streets.
POMA has now revitalized Tlemcen’s gondola lift, which had been out of operation for four years. The completely modernized installation now connects the inner city with the Plateau Lalla Setti and it is also connected to the newly built bus station Yahia Bachir.
The residents eagerly awaited the launching of the cableway as it has significantly improved the local transport situation in this tourist stronghold.
Plans for more cableways
But Algeria still does not seem to have enough urban cableways. New ones are planned in the cities of Tizi Ouzou (already under construction), Bejaia, Mediea, Beni Saf, Taref and Jijel while Constantine is considering building its second. If all the projects are implemented, the number of urban cableways will grow to 23. As mentioned in the opening of this article, the Algerian Transport Company by Cables (ETAC) is a strong player in these developments.
49 percent of the joint venture is held by the POMA group, 10 percent by the Algiers Metro Enterprise (EMA) and 41 percent by the Algerian State Owned Group TRANSTEV. ETAC is the outcome of a strong partnership between the Algerian state and the French cableway manufacturer which also enjoys political support: the signing of the contract was attended by both the Algerian Prime Minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, and the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls. Since then, POMA has provided technical and operational know-how and trained over one hundred employees – and it will continue to do so.
“We at POMA are proud of our long-term presence in Algeria which has selected our company to develop its urban cableway network,” says the company director, Jean Souchal. POMA has projects also in New York, Cairo or Miami, but its presence in Algeria has been an important strategic step in terms of this cableway manufacturer’s growth. “In the meantime, we not only build cableways but operate and maintain them 365 days a year, adds Souchal. For example, ETAC is equiped with the training Simulator „Upilot“ – delivered by POMA.
ETAC plan to deliver 15,000 training hours with this tool in 2019 knowing that 6, 000 training hours were delivered in 2018. But this development in Algeria is not positive only for POMA. Already, the country is a huge inspiration for many others, showing how urban cableways can help solve traffic problems. ts
TC 10 Bab el Oued
Length: 2.025 m
Altitude rise: 223 m
Speed: 5,5 m/s
Capacity per direction: 2.400 P.
Number of cabins: 66
Cabin Capacity: 10 P.
TC 10 Tlemcen
Length: 1,698 m
Altitude rise: 231 m
Capacity per direction: 1,500 P/h
Speed: 6 m/s
Number of cabins: 36
Cabin Capacity 10