Saudi Arabia and Egypt sign major deal to link power grids

power  Peter KaminskiThe project will effectively link the electricity networks of around 14 Arab countries. (Image source: Peter Kaminski/Flickr)Saudi Arabia and Egypt have signed a deal worth US$1.6bn to link their electricity grids in order to allow for power sharing between the two networks

The deals signed between state-owned power companies Saudi Electricity and Egyptian Electric Holding will involve both companies sharing the cost of installing a pair of 3,000MW, 20km-long undersea cables, while existing networks will extend by 1,320km–820km in Saudi Arabia and 480km in Egypt.

Speaking to Reuters, Egypt’s electricity minister Ahmed Moustafa Emam said that the work was expected to take up to 30 months to complete, with Egypt bearing around 40 per cent of the cost and Saudi Arabia 60 per cent.

Saudi Arabia’s minister of water and electricity Abdullah Bin Abdulrahman Al-Hussayen noted that the project will effectively link the electricity networks of around 14 Arab countries.

“This is one of the most important projects between Arab countries,” Al-Hussayen stated.

The deal will allow for a more even distribution of peak demand since electricity demand in Saudi Arabia peaks between noon and mid-afternoon due to air conditioners, while demand in Egypt peaks during evening hours.

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