Algeria: Sonelgaz, GE Award Winners of Energy Innovation Contest

Algiers — Sonelgaz Group and the US firm General Electric (GE) awarded Wednesday in Algiers, Algerian six winners of “Industry and Entrepreneurship Development in Algeria” (IDEA), launched in 2014 to identify start-ups in the field of energy innovation.

The award ceremony was attended by CEO of Sonelgaz Noureddine Boutarfa and CEO of GE Power and Water Steve Bolze.

This contest was initiated by both Algerian and American groups to bring suppliers and startups around the project of the gas turbines plant in Batna in which both companies are associated.

Each of the six winners selected for the first phase of the contest received a prize worth DZD 808 400 and are eligible to compete for the next phase of the competition after which the winners will receive a prize estimated at DZD 2.021million each.

Sonelgaz and GE had launched in September 2014 the IDEA initiative that focuses on a multi-year innovation program to identify and support providers, startups and Algerian entrepreneurs able to set up industrial businesses in the energy sector.

The program also aims at building a supply chain for one of the most important industrial initiatives in the country, the project of gas turbine complex manufacturing industrial in Batna, in partnership between Sonelgaz and GE.

The competition is open to suppliers and start-ups as well as students who have the capacity to produce stainless steel parts used in gas turbine combustion systems.

Speaking at the ceremony, Boutarfa stressed the need to “combine between industrial creation and development of the local genius,” adding that Sonelgaz’s industrial strategy is based on the need to free initiatives and allow Algerian youth to participate in wealth creation.

As for the CEO of GE Power and Water, he said the company supported the long-term partnerships with Algeria “based on one of the most powerful engines of growth, namely innovation.”

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