Saudi Arabia and Egypt may tender their long-awaited power link project in early 2015 and it would take nearly three years to be completed, a Saudi electricity official was quoted on Wednesday as saying.
Saleh Al Awaji, electricity and water ministry undersecretary, said the two countries have started preparation of the tender documents and revision of technical specifications of the project.
“The tendering process for this project has reached its final stages…we are now preparing the tender documents and revising technical specifications for the project,” he told the Saudi Arabic language daily Okaz.
“We expect this project to be tendered towards the end of this year or in early 2015, the linkage will be completed within three years in case the contract is awarded to the contractor and work is launched.”
He said the USD 1.5 bln project is based on “intensive studies” which have proved it is feasible for both countries.
Awaji said the power peak period in Saudi Arabia is during 1-5 pm and in Egypt during 6-10 pm, adding that “this means Saudi Arabia can import power supply from Egypt during the day and export it to that country at night.”
“Another benefit is that Saudi Arabia is already connected to the GCC power network while Egypt is linked to eight other Arab countries…this project will result in linking two Arab groups and creating an active market for power supply exchange in the region.”
Saudi Arabia and Egypt signed an agreement in June to set up a common power grid with a capacity of 3,000 MW.
The project involves the construction of 1,250 km power cables linking the Western Saudi town of Medina with Cairo through the northwestern Saudi city of Tabuk near the border with Jordan. The grid is to be funded proportionately by the two countries, with Egypt’s share estimated at USD 610 m.