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Egypt, Saudi Arabia sign contracts for $1.8B electrical interconnection project

In the presence of Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, and Egypt’s Minister of Electricity, Dr. Muhammad Shaker, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia signed contracts to award the electrical connectivity project between the two nations today, Tuesday.

The Saudi Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said that the two nations represented by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi had brought the project to this critical point.

The Kingdom’s electrical connection plans, according to the Minister of Energy, are in line with executive program emanating from the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which has the support and interest of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, and aims to invest in the Kingdom’s strategic location and possession of the world’s largest electrical grid.

Dr. Mohamed Shaker, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, said the project is a conclusion of Egyptian-Saudi ties’ depth, and the link between them would be the foundation of a shared Arab link, in addition to being complementary and supportive of both nations’ objectives (2030).

Dr. Mohamed Shaker explained that, given the two countries’ ambitious plans to increase their reliance on renewable energy sources, this connection serves as a safety valve for the two electrical networks, allowing them to deal with the nature of renewable energy instability in general, as well as provide significant investments to address any consequences.

The cost of the connection

In theory, contracts have been made between Riyadh and Cairo with three alliances of foreign and local businesses to construct the 3000-megawatt interconnection project using HVDC technology and a voltage of 500 kilovolts. Transmission wires with a length of roughly 1,350 meters are installed overhead.

When completed, the project will provide some benefits to both countries, including improving the reliability of national electrical networks, supporting their stability, and optimizing the generation capacities available in them, as well as the timing differences in their peak electrical loads, and enabling the two countries to meet their ambitious goals of entering renewable energy.

The project will provide commercial electric power, as well as permitting the use of a fiber-optic line in conjunction with an electrical connecting line to improve communications networks and transmit data between the two Arab countries and their neighboring countries.

The project will allow both nations to exchange up to 3 gigawatts of power during peak periods, supplying power to more than 20 million people while utilizing cutting-edge technology. It will increase the efficiency of transmission and energy exchange networks, decreasing the total carbon footprint.

Orascom Construction and Hitachi ABB Power Grids have signed a contract with the Egyptian Power Transmission Firm (EETC) to complete all work in Egypt to connect the two national electricity grids in the Arab Republic of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, according to the company. In Saudi Arabia, the business will be carried out by a different partnership comprising Hitachi ABB Power Grids and SSEM.

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