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Thursday, 20 October 2022

Egypt-Saudi electricity interconnection finally has a timeline

Our 3 GW electricity linkup with Saudi is going live in mid-2025: Trial operations for the USD 1.8 bn Egypt-Saudi electricity interconnection are set to begin in May 2025 with an official operational launch set for later in the same year, Bloomberg Asharq quotes Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) head Sabah Mashaly as saying. The first 1.5 GW phase will go live in June 2025, followed by the second and final 1.5 GW phase in November 2025.

The funding is in place: Egypt has already secured USD 600 mn from several undisclosed Arab funds and agencies, Mashaly told Bloomberg Asharq. Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation this week announced the provision of USD 566.4 mn for the Saudi Electricity Company to facilitate the project.

We’ve been waiting on a clear timeline for the project’s operation for some time now: A consortium of Orascom Construction (OC) and Japan’s Hitachi ABB Power Grids was awarded the project’s execution contracts by the EETC last October. The project had reportedly been on hold since at least 2018, when initial tenders were launched, primarily due to the Saudi government’s work on Neom City.

About the project: The Egypt-Saudi electricity interconnection project will be home to HVDC conversion stations. Those include two stations in Saudi Arabia’s Medina and Tabuk and another in Badr city, east of Cairo. It will flow power along a 1.35k km route through overhead power lines and a 22 km subsea cable in the Red Sea.

Prospects for electricity exports to third-party countries? A surplus in generated capacity between the two countries could be exported to nearby countries through other interconnection projects, Sabah said.

REMEMBER- We’ve built a large surplus of electricity generation capacity over the past few years. Our grid is currently linked with Jordan, Palestine, Libya, and most recently Sudan. We’re also looking to create energy trade relationships with Greece and other regional neighbors, including a potential gas pipeline and the 2 GW EuroAfrica Interconnector project to connect our grid with Greece and Cyprus, which is expected to begin commissioning this December.

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