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Gulf set to expand regional power grid

Deeper integration could save up to $1.8bn through energy trading.

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GCC, Gccia, Grid, News

Further integration of the GCC powery grid could save up to $1.8bn in fuel operating costs through energy trading, the 3rd Regional Power Trade Forum 2014 in Abu Dhabi heard on Sunday.

The existing grid has already prevented over 1,000 black outs since launching in 2009, H.E. Dr. Matar Al Neyadi, undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Energy and chairman of the board of directors, GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA), said during his opening address

Around 800,000 megawatt-hours per year are currently traded between GCC members, said Ahmed al-Ebrahim, chief operating officer of the Dammam-based Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA).

“In around five years in 2019 we will need to expand the grid as consumption is increasing around six to ten per cent a year,” he said, according to Reuters. “We have started initial studies for it and we hope to start the project soon. The study will be complete in around two years.”

The investment needed to expand the grid is around $420mn through 2019, the event heard, and there are plans to extend it to Egypt and Europe via Turkey.

Topics up for discussion at the forum include how to develop a power market in the GCC and international case studies in power trading.

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