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Egypt and Saudi Arabia link power grids in $1.6 bn deal

Egypt and Saudi Arabia aim to share electricity through project due to be completed in 2015

Ahram Online, Sunday 2 Jun 2013
Saudi Arabia
File photo: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia speaks to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on his arrival at the Royal Palace in Jeddah (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia on Saturday to link their electricity grids, a project worth approximately $1.6 billion and generating about 3,000 megawatts of power, the Saudi embassy in Cairo stated.

The agreement –signed by the Saudi minister of water and electricity, Abdullah bin Abdul Rahman Al-Hosain, and Egyptian minister of electricity and energy Ahmed Emam – will require the construction of a 20 kilometre-long underwater cable to facilitate the exchange of power between the two states.

Each country will shoulder the local cost of executing the project; accordingly, Egypt will allocate around $570 million.

The network is expected to be finished by 2015.

Egyptians have recently suffered intermittent blackouts during the day, the result of an electricity ministry plan to conserve power during Egypt's hottest months from May to August.

Electricity consumption in Egypt usually surges during the summer, exacerbated both by the hot weather and the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which this year will fall in July.

Egypt has around 220 electricity generators nationwide, which consume roughly 100 million cubic metres of fuel on a daily basis, according to a recent statement by electricity minister Emam.  

 

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