Egypt, Saudi Arabia sign $1.8 billion contracts to link electricity grids

Egypt and Saudi Arabia have on Tuesday signed contracts to connect the two countries’ power grids, in a project that could enable them to exchange as much as 3 gigawatts of electricity capacity.

The project would cost around $1.8 billion, according to Egypt’s state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA). It came nine years after Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed a cooperation agreement to establish the power linkage grid.

It will enable both countries to exchange up to 3 gigawatts at peak times, and supply power to about 20 million Egyptian homes or 2.3 million Saudi households, said Hitachi ABB, one of the companies undertaking the project, in a statement.

The 500 kilovolts high-voltage direct current (HVDC) project consists of three high-voltage converter stations – two in Saudi Arabia, where a power station will be established in East Madinah and another in Tabuk, and the third one being the Badr power station, east of Cairo.

The three stations will be linked through overhead electric power transmission lines stretching across 1,350 metres and 22 kilometres of sea cables in the Gulf of Aqaba.

The Saudi Electricity Company and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company signed the contracts in the presence of Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohammed Shaker.

Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said that reaching this important stage of the project is the culmination of the directives of the leaderships of the two countries., while Minister Mohamed Shaker said that the project shows the depth of the bilateral relations.

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