CAIRO: The Egyptian-Saudi electricity linkage project will be finalized in 2018; the cost on the Egypt’s side amounts to $600 million, according to a Monday statement.
The entire project’s cost is estimated at $1.6 billion. The Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED,) the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company contribute to the funding of the project.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail signed an agreement with the KFAED Sunday to receive a loan of 30 million Kuwaiti dinars ($100 million) to fund the cable that will reach Saudi Arabia through the Gulf of Aqaba of the Red Sea.
The IDB announced in Egypt’s Economic Development Conference in March that it would contribute $875 million in financing to the linkage project, the development of Sharm el-Sheikh Airport, and Asyut oil refinery in Upper Egypt.
The Egyptian power grid will be connected to that of Saudi on 500 kilovolts through the Badr transmission plant in Egypt and Tabuk station in Saudi Arabia then East Medina plant at a distance of 1,300 kilometers.
The project will enable the two countries to share electric power of up to 3,000 megawatts (MW) during the off-peak hours of the exporting country.
Saudi Arabia’s peak time in summer falls between noon and mid-afternoon, when air conditioners are most intensively used, while in Egypt peak time is after sunset.
The project is aimed at allowing the two countries to use each other’s surplus of power in the cases of emergency and overload, as well as to enhance the stability of the two countries electric networks.