The Algerian government has given Linde Group the green light to take over the country's state owned industrial gas producer, say local reports.

The agreement allows the German group to enlarge its activities in a number of African areas beginning from Algeria, including the construction of a complex for helium production in Skikda, east of Algiers.

Reports say the company will take advantage of the available production structures of the company, as well as rehabilitating and modernizing them to capitalise upon existing local knowledge.

ENGI owns seven units of production across the country including facilities at Reghaia, Arzew, west of Algiers, and Annaba and Constantine, to the east of the capital.

Linde had signed treaties for two partnership projects in the area before it bought ENGI, among them a deal with state owned Sonatrach for a €85m investment in a helium production project.