Saudi to Egypt 3,000MW power link delayed
Construction of $1.6bn project held up pending further studies.
Contractors planning to bid for a $1.6bn power project linking Saudi Arabia and Egypt’s electricity grids will have to wait until December following delays to the tendering process.
The tender was originally scheduled for release at the beginning of the year but has suffered delays as further preliminary studies are carried out on the project.
Nasser Al-Qahtani, deputy governor of Saudi Arabia’s Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA), told Asharq Al-Awsat that “a number of studies are currently being conducted to finalise projects linking Saudi Arabia’s electricity grid with countries in the region, including Turkey and Egypt”.
Both the Turkish and Egyptian projects were announced in 2012, with construction of the necessary infrastructure for the Egyptian project meant to begin in 2015 and the entire project due to be finished in 2016.
The project with Turkey is now shelved due to the escalation of the conflict in Syria, through which cables linking Saudi Arabia and Turkey would have had to pass.
Saudi Arabia is aiming to boost sources for its domestic electricity consumption through the joint electricity projects, as well as helping each partner country cope with additional demand during peak consumption times in the summer months.
The joint Saudi-Egyptian electricity grid project would allow both countries to generate and share an additional 3,000 megawatts of electricity during the peak hours via a 12-mile (20km) underwater cable crossing the Gulf of Aqaba.
Egypt would transfer electricity to the Kingdom during the latter’s peak consumption times in the afternoon, with Saudi Arabia doing the same for Egypt during its peak consumption times in the evening.