PHASE 1 of the GCC Inter-Connection Grid project is expected to be ready by the first quarter of next year, according to a Kahramaa communique.
The new grid allows electricity transfer between GCC states that in turn would help the economic development of the whole region and provide stable supply.
The inter-connection grid would promote the regional energy market in a big way, it said. Contracts for Phase I were awarded in November 2001 and they are meant to connect Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.
More than 84% of Phase I is already completed, it said.
The total cost of phase one comprising 14 contracts amounted to $1.212bn. This includes the expenses incurred for building transforming stations, oscillation transforming stations, overhead lines, marine cable, control centre, and consultancy services.
The inter-connection of the UAE network to the main GCC Inter-Connection Authority grid cost $150mn, and Oman’s $45mn.
“Phase I constitutes installation of 400 kv double circuit inter-connection line from Al Zour station in Kuwait to South Doha with a total length of more than 800km. It includes the construction of six transforming stations in Al Zour - Kuwait, Al Fadely, Ghonan, and Salwa - Saudi Arabia, Jasra in Bahrain, and South Doha,” said GCC Inter-connection Authority Vice Chairman and head of project and tender monitoring committee Essa Hilal al-Kuwari.
“Phase I includes installation of 400 kv marine double circuit cable from Ghonan station in Saudi Arabia to Jasra in Bahrain, besides the construction of Al Fadely oscillation transforming station and a Control Center in Ghonan in Saudi Arabia,” said al-Kuwari.
The project also includes a contract with a consultancy for the preparation of project documentation and tenders. The contracts were awarded in September 2005 and work started in December that year.
One of the main objectives of the Inter-Connection Grid is that in case of shortfalls in production, the member states could face generation shortages by sharing the revolving surplus of the neighboring country. The grid thus ensures electric supply to member states in the event of emergencies.
Among other objectives of GCC interconnection project is that operational efficiency would be considerably increased in member countries.
The project seeks to adopt latest technologies by monitoring the technical and scientific development.
It was to realise these objectives that the GCC States set up GCC Interconnection Authority on July 28, 2001. As per the agreement, Inter-connection authority is responsible for the operation of grid and its maintenance.
The GCCIA board comprises 12 members, ie two each from every country. The chairmanship of the authority is for a period of three years, based on the alphabetical order.
Qatar representatives are Kahramaa’s business and development manager and manager of corporate planning Yousuf Ahmed Janahi and director of electricity network affairs Essa Hilal al-Kuwari. The two are currently chairman and vice-chairman respectively.
Yousuf Ahmed al-Janahi paid a visit to electricity and oscillation transforming stations at Al-Fadely last Sunday to examine work there. A number of other officials accompanied the chairman.
Al-Janahi visited the electricity transforming station at Al Fadely.
It consists of three units each of 1800mw capacity. The station facilitates the exchange of electrical power within the 50 Hertz frequency Electricity Networks of both Saudi Electricity Company and other GCCIA countries.
The capital cost of the station is $206mn. More than 95% of the work is complete.
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