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Phase I of GCC power grid 80% done

posted on 27/10/2008: 677 views

Eighty per cent of the first phase of Gulf Co-operation Council power grid is complete and the whole US$3.9 billion (Dh14.3bn) project is expected to be complete in 2011, Yousef Ahmed Janahi, Chairman of the Board of the GCC Inter-Connection Project, said.

The first phase work is carried out in four states – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. The work includes the construction of five stations, which are located in Salwa and Al Fadely (in Saudi Arabia), Al Zoura (in Kuwait), Jasra (in Bahrain) and Doha (Qatar).

The GCC power grid project was started in 2001. The first phase contracts were granted in 2008 and the phase is due for completion during the first quarter of 2009, Janahi told Emirates Business yesterday on the sidelines of the three-day Power Generation and Water Middle East 2008.

The second phase includes the construction of the UAE's internal grid, while the third phase will include connection of the UAE and Oman with the GCC power grid.

The third phase contracts had been signed and the project's management is currently studying replacing the grid that links the UAE with Oman with a new one.

The total cost of the GCC power grid, which is due to be complete by 2011, exceeds US$3.9bn and the total cost of the project's first phase is US$1.6bn, while the third phase's cost touches US$2.3bn, Janahi said.

Janahi, who is also the Corporate Planning and Business Development Manager at the Qatari Water and Electricity Corporation, reviewed Qatar's future power and water ventures which will be executed over the next 36 years.

In case the price of oil stabilised at US$60 per barrel or more, Qatar should look for nuclear and solar power and it is better not to resort to wind energy as it is not useful, he said.

By 2011, Qatar will need two electricity and water plants due to the increasing demand for plants, he told the conference.

Zahir Khalid Suleiman Al Suleimane, Director-General of Projects at the Public Authority for Electricity and Water in Oman, said Oman will organise within a few days tenders for water projects with a cost of OR700m.

Oman participated in the conference to display its projects before international and Gulf contracting firms. Majority of contractors who carry out water ventures in Oman are Omanis, Egyptians, Turkish and Indians, while the Americans and Koreans construct desalination plants, Al Sulaimane said.

Gulf Arab states are expected to sign an agreement next month to pave the way for a regional electricity grid for power trading to cope with the rising demand, Chairman of the managing company said yesterday.

Electricity ministers from the six Gulf states will meet in Qatar in early November to finalise the agreement, the first phase of which is to be launched in early 2009, said Yousef Al Janahi, chairman of the Gulf Co-operation Council Interconnection Authority.

The authority is a joint stock company owned by the six Gulf States to build and oversee the grid, the first phase of which will have 1,200MW and cost US$1.6bn. – Emirates Business


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