Egypt and Saudi Arabia will sign the final contracts for the electricity interconnection project between the two countries before the end of June at a cost of $2bn.
Government sources told Daily News Egypt that the Saudi technical committee confirmed its readiness to sign the electricity exchange agreement with Egypt next month, after the completion of all reviews and technical studies, in parallel with the announcement of companies winning the implementation of the lines and transformers of the project scheduled for June.
The project connects the two power networks in Egypt and Saudi Arabia to a 500 kV transformer from Badr conversion station in Egypt to a transfer station east of Medina, passing through Tabuk station in Saudi Arabia at a length of 1,300 km, including 820 km inside Saudi Arabia and 480 km in Egyptian territory, with a capacity of 3,000 MW.
The sources added that the Spanish consulting firm CESI completed the study to specify the technical specifications and technology needed for the equipment and to envisage an agreement for the exchange of energy.
The Spanish consulting office has carried out many studies of electrical networks in countries around the world, and also contributed to the development of specifications and scenarios for renewable energy projects and smart networks.
The joint Saudi-Egyptian committee is to announce the winners of the implementation of the power transmission lines and substations. The competition is between Siemens, ABB, State Grid, and Alstom. The financial envelopes have been opened and the companies are awaiting the awarding decision.
The sources explained that the trial operation of the electric connection with Saudi Arabia is supposed to start in 2019 to exchange 3,000 MW at peak times.
The project costs about $2bn, with the Egyptian side’s share amounting to $600m. The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Islamic Development Bank, and the resources of the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), will contribute to the project’s funding, along with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
Egypt started negotiations with Saudi Arabia in 2010 to establish an energy exchange project between the two countries. However, due to political events, the project was postponed more than once. In 2014, Egypt completed negotiations with Saudi Arabia to implement the project and offered tenders for cables, lines, and transformer substations with the political leadership of both countries pushing the project.