Electricity power lines- REUTERS-Pascal Rossignol
CAIRO – 17 April 2018: Egypt will sign the contracts of the electricity interconnection project with Saudi Arabia in June to start the implementation of the project immediately, according to Chairman of Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company Gamal Abdel Reheem.
Abdel Reheem added that the Saudi part is still studying some aspects of the project, clarifying that the construction of the transmission stations of the “Badr- al-Madinah-Tabuk” line will commence in mid-2018, after signing the contracts.
Electrical interconnection lines between Egypt and Saudi Arabia are scheduled to be operated in the beginning of 2021, with a capacity of 3,000 Megawatts.
Abdel Reheem affirmed that the air and land conversions will be constructed by the direct current (DC) with the highest capacity, instead of the alternating current which is used at transmission stations.
This project targets to make Egypt a central hub for electricity among the Arab countries, aiming to establish an infrastructure for electricity trade between the Arab countries, in preparation for the establishment of a common market for electricity.
The rate of return on investment from linking with Saudi Arabia is more than 13 percent upon using the stations only to participate in the electricity generation reserves for the two countries, with a cost recovery period of eight years.
While the rate of return on investment will be upped to 20 percent when using the linkage line to participate in the generation reserve and to exchange energy between the two countries in the peak periods of each country with a maximum of 3,000 megawatts, in addition to other uses in electricity trade, especially in the winter, which will allow the kingdom to export its electricity surplus to Egypt.
Egypt is already electrically interconnected with Jordon and Libya. Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cyprus and Greece to interconnect electrically, which will make Egypt a central hub for electricity linkage between three continents.
Egyptian electricity is sometimes exported to Jordan as the linkage line between both countries currently works at capacities that range between 400 to 450 MW. These capacities are currently being increased.
Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said earlier that Egypt is studying electricity interconnection with the African countries to benefit from the hydropower in Africa.