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Connect to quality

Article - June 27, 2012
Known for their superb value, CABELEQ’s domestically made products sell themselves. Meanwhile, the company and its subsidiaries look to ICT and solar power for expansion
HIGH QUALITY HAS SPARKED HIGH DEMAND FOR ELECTRICAL SERVICES AND PRODUCTS FROM CABELEQ’S 13 SUBSIDIARIES

Algerian companies are committed to delivering quality, a fact acknowledged by both corporate customers and private individuals. While a free market brings competition, Algerian buyers, having been tempted by the lower prices of foreign goods, have returned to the quality offered by their native brands. ENPEC batteries, for example, are often sold out – though the company itself makes no effort to promote sales through advertising: customer satisfaction and word of mouth is enough to maintain the company’s reputation and ensure high demand. The same is true of its parent company, the state-owned SGP CABELEQ, and its products. For example, its Biskra cable is highly regarded and has successfully resisted competition from cheaper Chinese-made items.

“Competition from similar products emerging from China initially gave us cause for concern because of their lower prices. However, consumers noticed the differences in quality between the products and understood that they were not the same, so they came back to our range,” says Aziza Boukaoula, President of CABELEQ.

CABELEQ has a long-standing quality policy, evidenced by the number of certifications held by its group of companies. Their products meet the highest international standards in their respective fields, allowing them to compete in export markets. ENPEC, for example, exports its batteries to Libya.

Production processes meet ISO standards, such as ISO 9001:2000 for production quality, and ISO 14001 for environmental management. By implementing and maintaining such standards, CABELEQ’s management and personnel demonstrate their dedication and professionalism.

Teamwork

Mrs Boukaoula highlights the company’s distinction for quality: “Our technical teams have nothing to fear from overseas competition, they have come out of excellent schools such as the Ecole Polytechnique, and are highly qualified. We know what we want, we know where we are going, and potential international partners are sometimes surprised to find a level of efficiency they had not expected and to find such favourable conditions for investing.”

One new market the company has its eye on is the renewable energy sector and it is looking for international partners to join it in the new venture. Its subsidiary ENPEC has already looked into the potential and sees it as a way of further increasing its expanding market share. “We want to move into the solar battery sector,” says Mrs Boukaoula. “ENPEC has already made a start, as vehicle batteries and solar batteries share a similar configuration, but with a few changes and tweaks. We have entered an agreement with the University of Setif to carry out research and develop our solar energies further.”

A unified group

ENPEC, which focuses on the electrochemistry sector, is one of 13 subsidiaries held by CABELEQ. The group has three companies that manufacture a wide range of cables. CABEL makes copper, aluminium and steel electric power cables and wires for industry and CATEL produces low voltage copper and fibre-optic cables. Enica Biskra is a leading provider of utility cables and low and medium voltage power and construction cable. The company is located in the province of Biskra, approximately 260 miles southeast of Algiers, and it occupies an 86-acre site with approximately 1 million square feet of manufacturing, warehousing and office space.

In CABELEQ’s electrotechnical division, EDIEL and Electro-Industries deal with manufacturing and marketing electrical equipment such as motors, transformers alternators and generators. EDIEL collaborates with various partners, including ABB, Alstom and Scheider, to maintain a technological edge in the industry, while Electro-Industries focuses on developing niche products.

The group’s interests in the telecom sector are covered by its ENTC and SITEL companies in Tlemcen, northwestern Algeria. ENTC manufactures telephone handsets and analogue switching equipment, and SITEL is a joint venture with Swedish telecom leader Ericsson – a partnership that was established in 1988 and launched the first Algerian-made mobile phone in 2004. SITEL also looks after the country’s fully digitalised network of more than 3 million landlines.

CABELEQ also has four companies working in the electrical services sector: AL ELEC, REELEC, ARMEL, and INFRATELE. AL ELEC is dedicated to Algeria’s power lines, rural electrification and electrical installations; REELEC works on the installation and maintenance of industrial electricity generators; ARMEL is involved in the repair of electrical equipment and treatment of industrial oils; and INFRATELE’s main business is the installation of fibre-optic cables and other engineering infrastructure for the telecom sector.

ICT in high demand

Demand for information technology services from Algeria’s young, growing population continues to rise: in 2010, the overall internet penetration rate reached 12.5 per cent, but only 2.5 per cent of the population held broadband internet subscriptions. In addition, with more and more government services being made available online, such as passport and birth certificate applications, reliable telecom infrastructure is important to Algeria’s sustained development.

Launched by the Ministry of Postal Services and ICT, the e-Algerie 2013 plan is an ambitious effort from the government to increase the spread of ICT across the country. The initiative aims to tackle the interconnected challenges of enhanced infrastructure, availability and usage of ICT services, which in turn has spurred greater demand for the industry’s suppliers, such as CABELEQ.

Expanding reach

The national push for rural electrification is also good news for the company’s order books. Algeria has more than 140,000 miles of power lines, serving just over 98 per cent of the entire population. However, there are plans to increase the size of the network further – by 5 per cent – over the coming years in order to reach isolated rural communities and hydrocarbon developments in the vast Sahara Desert.

The country’s focus on developing renewable sources of energy will also see demand for CABELEQ’s products remain healthy. Algeria’s Ministry of Energy and Mines states that “the biggest potential in Algeria is for solar”. A report by the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) programme says countries such as Algeria could one day be exporting solar energy to markets in Europe, as it will soon be connected to European energy networks. The report also says that in the next two decades, solar power could potentially provide the same amount of electricity as 72 coal-fired power stations – enough to supply 100 million people, or the combined populations of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.

ICT in high demand

Demand for information technology services from Algeria’s young, growing population continues to rise: in 2010, the overall internet penetration rate reached 12.5 per cent, but only 2.5 per cent of the population held broadband internet subscriptions. In addition, with more and more government services being made available online, such as passport and birth certificate applications, reliable telecom infrastructure is important to Algeria’s sustained development.

Launched by the Ministry of Postal Services and ICT, the e-Algerie 2013 plan is an ambitious effort from the government to increase the spread of ICT across the country. The initiative aims to tackle the interconnected challenges of enhanced infrastructure, availability and usage of ICT services, which in turn has spurred greater demand for the industry’s suppliers, such as CABELEQ.

Expanding reach

The national push for rural electrification is also good news for the company’s order books. Algeria has more than 140,000 miles of power lines, serving just over 98 per cent of the entire population. However, there are plans to increase the size of the network further – by 5 per cent – over the coming years in order to reach isolated rural communities and hydrocarbon developments in the vast Sahara Desert.

The country’s focus on developing renewable sources of energy will also see demand for CABELEQ’s products remain healthy. Algeria’s Ministry of Energy and Mines states that “the biggest potential in Algeria is for solar”. A report by the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) programme says countries such as Algeria could one day be exporting solar energy to markets in Europe, as it will soon be connected to European energy networks. The report also says that in the next two decades, solar power could potentially provide the same amount of electricity as 72 coal-fired power stations – enough to supply 100 million people, or the combined populations of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.

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