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Cairo seeks $100mn for interconnection grid

Egypt has requested a loan of $100mn from Kuwait to help fund a power interconnection project that would link it with Saudi Arabia to boost the power capacities in both countries during peak usage times

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Cairo, Egypt, Grid, News

Egypt has asked Kuwait for a $100 million loan to fund a $1.6 billion, 3,000-megawatt electricity interconnection project between Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The operation would supply electricity to both countries and could ultimately serve to connect countries in the Gulf to the European power grid.

The plan would connect the Saudi city of Medina with Egypt's New Cairo City, which is approximately 20 miles east of Cairo, by way of Tabuk, a city in the northwestern corner of Saudi Arabia. It would require more than 850 miles of cable, including about 15 miles going under the Gulf of Aqaba. For both countries, the project is expected to help relieve pressure on the grid during peak usage times — during the afternoon in Saudi Arabia, and in the evenings in Egypt.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt originally signed the deal for the project in June 2013, Asharq al-Awsat reported. Both countries had planned to cover the costs and responsibilities of operating and maintaining the power grid and cables, with Egypt paying about 40 percent of the cost and Saudi Arabia 60 percent.

The loan requested from Kuwait, which would be repaid over 25 years, would help offset the $600mn Egypt is supposed to contribute. The loan carried an annual interest rate of 2 percent, Middle East Monitor reported.

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