Egypt started operating the first phase of its electricity interconnection with Sudan on Saturday at an initial capacity of 70MW, Egypt’s cabinet has announced. The move comes as part of a strategy aiming at promoting Egypt as a regional hub for electricity and energy exchange.
Government sources told Daily News Egypt that the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company has launched lines and transformer stations with capacity of 300MW and a voltage of 220 KV. Some devices, however, must be installed in Khartoum before the grids can operate at full capacity.
The officials added that the project’s second phase aims at exchanging 250MW, and will take between 8-10 months to operate. This period may increase or decrease according to the surrounding circumstances, especially those related to the ongoing global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Meanwhile, the sources refused to disclose the price of electricity exported to Sudan, saying only, “the cost of the line on the Egyptian side is about $55m, and is financed by Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy.”
The sources added that relations between Egypt and Sudan are good, with no problems over the energy purchase agreement. The commensurate financial matters, including ways to pay, have been decided by the political leaders of the two countries
According to the Sudanese Ministry of Energy and Mining, the testing of the grids took place on Friday, with the extension of the grid to Sudan’s northern areas. The capacity of the line is 100 MW at a voltage of 220 KV, which can be increased to 300 MW or more in the future.
The Egyptian cabinet said the grids came within the huge project’s first phase, with a second phase following the installation of equipment that will supply Sudan with new 300 MW capacity lines.
The electricity link between the two countries runs at 170km long, of which 100km is in Egypt, between Wadi Halfa and Toshki, and the rest is in Sudan.
The government is looking to make Egypt the regional electricity hub, and is already supplying electricity to several Arab countries. This includes electricity links with Libya and Jordan, and a scheduled plan with Saudi Arabia to establish a new line at a capacity of 3GW and 500 KV voltage.