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Monday, 30 December 2019

Egypt, Sudan to link electricity grids on 12 January 2020 — the first of multiple interconnections over the next two years

Egypt and Sudan will finish linking up their electricity grids on 12 January, sharing an initial 50 MW worth of capacity, Reuters cites state news agency MENA as having said yesterday. The project reportedly cost EGP 509 mn and spans 1,000 km. The grid interconnection project has been in the pipeline for years, but was reportedly delayed by political upheaval in Sudan earlier this year and complications from discussions over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

It will be the first of many interconnections as Egypt looks to become a power hub: Egypt is finalizing a similar agreement with Saudi Arabia, which is due to be signed in May 2020. The project was initially planned to cost USD 1.6 bn, of which Egypt would pay USD 600 mn, and was originally expected to span 16 km, but plans to extend the grid’s length to 25 km have upped costs by 30%, we reported previously. It is expected to be operational by 2022. Meanwhile, a USD 4 bn EuroAfrica project to connect the electricity grids of Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece is scheduled for completion by December 2022, we reported in February. Whether Electricity Ministry concerns over implementation costs, expressed in late 2018, have delayed the Cyprus project remains to be seen.

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