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GCC readies to link power grids

Four countries to connect networks by the end of July

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The UAE will connect with the GCC grid in 2011.
The UAE will connect with the GCC grid in 2011.

Four GCC nations will connect their power grids by the end of this month as they strive to cope with rapidly increasing power demand and the possibility of power outages.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain will link up shortly to launch the US $1.4 billion connection project, with the UAE earmarked to join in 2011, the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) stated. Oman is expected to join at a later stage.

Representatives from five of the six GCC states signed a power trading agreement in Saudi Arabia yesterday.

“The agreement is between transmission system operators, power procurement companies and the GCCIA for the sole purpose of exchanging and trading electrical power,” said Yousef Janahi, chairman of the GCCIA, according to the Arab News daily.

Power outages are a concern in the GCC, particularly during the summer months, when air conditioning units are working overtime. In Saudi Arabia, the problem has garnered unwanted media attention as a result of frequent powercuts in the industrial city of Jeddah.

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