The Board of Executive Directors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on Wednesday approved $566m for financing projects at a meeting convened under the chairmanship of IDB President Ahmad Mohamed Ali.
The approval for the $566m total, given at the bank’s headquarters in Jeddah on Wednesday, covers sectors including energy, roads, petrochemicals, water, education, and health.
Of this total, IDB announced in a statement that the board allocated $220m for the Egypt-Saudi electricity interconnection project. It will facilitate electricity supply between Saudi Arabia and Egypt with a maximum capacity of 3000MW.
“This connection or project will contribute in the future to integration with the electric grid of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), as well as the Arab Maghreb area network, including increasing the potential of electricity exchange between Arab countries,” the statement said.
The Saudi Ministry of Water and Electricity’s (MOWE) spokesperson Mohammed Al-Yamani said that many international and local companies are set to bid for the tender to establish antenna line for the electrical interconnection project between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Al-Yamani said that the ministry is scheduled to receive technical and financial offers from competing companies on 21 December.
He added that the antenna line is partly funded by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) through a soft loan of up to $160m.
Egypt and the MOWE signed three agreements concerning the electricity interconnection project totalling $1.6bn in December 2013 in the presence of former Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi and the Minister of MOWE Abdullah Al-Hasseen.
“It is a core project as through Egypt we can connect electrically with Jordan and North Africa and we will achieve this project within three years according to the agreements,” added Al-Hasseen
Minister of Finance and the Governor of IDB in Egypt Hany Kadry Dimian announced that the coming period will witness more cooperation with IDB. He added that Egypt has asked the bank for financing worth $160m.
The Saudi Council of Ministers approved in April a memorandum of understanding for the project that allows the exchange of electrical capabilities up to approximately 3,000MW at off-peak times in the exported country. Every country pays the costs of the exchange process in its territory, with Egypt and Saudi Arabia sharing the cost of submarine cable links between the two shores of the Gulf of Aqaba.