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Posted On: 13 March 2009 01:58 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

GCC power grid ‘a step on right path’

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The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry, HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, said the GCC power inter-connectivity grid, is a significant step on the region’s path to sustainable development. The grid would increase the capacities of the GCC states in confronting the challenges the economies encountered, he said. The deputy prime minister was speaking at the signing of the general agreement of the GCC power inter-connectivity grid. Al-Attiyah stressed that GCC leaders had recently mandated the members of the GCC Electricity and Water Co-operation Committee to sign the general agreement. “The signing manifests the wise policies outlined by GCC leaders, whose implementation is supervised by electricity and water ministers in the GCC states,” he added. “The latest signing represents a sovereign agreement that has international and commercial characteristics. Needless to be said, it enables the local grid authorities of the interconnected states to make use of the IC lines and sub-stations within the grid’s legal, commercial, and technical frameworks as part of the common agreements with GCC inter-connectivity,” the deputy prime minister said. Al-Attiyah added that grid authorities in the GCC states were scheduled to sign power exchange and trading agreement (Peta) within a few weeks from now after giving final touches to the first phase. The Peta sets out the regulations and procedures of electricity exchange and trading, during usual hours and in the event of emergencies through the effective application of the interconnection grid, he added. The grid, al-Attiyah said, would have a major impact on the region’s electricity integration march. Speaking at the signing, chairman of the inter-connectivity grid, Yousuf Ahmed al-Janahi, said the massive project (phase 1) cost $1.407bn. “Its setting up should help reduce drastically investment costs on power generation and also increase the credibility and economic reliability of GCC power systems to ensure stable power supplies within GCC countries,” al-Janahi added. “The general agreement comes at the right juncture as the first phase’s actual operation is due in the second quarter of 2009. “Experimental tests have been conducted to evaluate its stability prior to the actual operation. The Al-Zour sub-station in Kuwait has successfully undergone the first experimental operation. The first phase is planned to connect Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait,” al-Janahi added. The official expected the three phases of the project to get over by end 2010. Besides the deputy prime minister and al-Janahi, many senior officials of the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation and the GCC interconnectivity grid were present at the signing ceremony.