CAIRO: The energy committee of the parliament approved a loan from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to finance the power linkage project of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Youm7 reported Sunday.
The loan agreement was signed in Cairo Nov. 22, 2015 by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and KFAED and approved by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi later in 2016.
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 statement by the Egyptian government in November.
The entire project’s cost is estimated at $1.6 billion; KFAED will contribute 30 million Kuwaiti dinars ($100 million,) the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company will also contribute to the funding of the project.
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.