Gulf countries to form unified power grid by 2011

15:19, December 15, 2009      

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The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will set up a unified power grid by 2011 to guarantee adequate electricity supply for its six member countries, said the chief project contractor on Monday.

"The first phase of the project, which links up Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, was completed in the first quarter of 2009," Yousef A. Janahi, chairman of the Board of the GCC Electricity Interconnection Authority (EIA) told a press conference before the opening of the 30th GCC Summit.

The project, with a total investment of 1.6 billion U.S. dollars, will further connect the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman in 2011 upon its completion, said Janahi.

Saudi Arabia will get the largest share, or 31.6 percent of power supply from the grid, while Kuwait gets 26.7 percent.

He said 15.7 percent of the power supply will go to the UAE, 11.7 percent to Qatar, 5.6 percent to Oman and 9 percent to Bahrain.

The project of the GCC power grid, which will be inaugurated during the GCC summit in Kuwait, will "provide a means for exchanging electric energy upon a fixed basis of common interests among the GCC countries," said Minister of Electricity and Water Badr Al-Shar'an on Saturday.

"The project will cushion the electricity network of any GCC country in case it has an electric shortcut in emergency cases," the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) quoted the minister as saying.

The EIA chairman Janahi said the annual operational cost of the project will be around 50 million dollars, and the venture will provide 5,000 megawatts from the overall electricity-production capacity of the GCC.

He said estimated electricity needs of the GCC countries by 2010 will be 105,000 megawatts.

Source: Xinhua
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