The synchronisation of Qatar and Bahrain inter-connection grid networks, being developed as part of the GCC Inter-Connectivity project, took place yesterday.
According to a statement issued by Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), the synchronisation was successful and could be implemented on schedule owing to excellent co-operation between the National Control Centres in the two countries.
Head of NCC Qatar Ali al-Ali said the first circuit of the link connecting Bahrain and Saudi Arabia was made through the substations in Qatar and Kuwait. On account of the linking, the synchronisation between Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait is set to start today, said al-Ali.
The first phase of the grid has the participation of Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Head of electricity transfer department at Kahramaa Ali al-Najjar said the experimental operations of power transfer between Phase I Interconnection Power Grid countries had been carried out to ensure the stability of the networks before their actual operation.
Experimental operations, he recalled, started in the first quarter of this year. In February, Al-Zour substation (Kuwait) underwent the first experimental operation in co-ordination with Interconnection Control Centre (ICC) in Saudi Arabia’s Ghunan.
In March, the formal operations of Al-Fadhili substation (Saudi Arabia) and part I of the double circuit 300km-long overhead line between Al-Zour (Kuwait) and Al-Fadhili (Saudi Arabia) began. The experimental operations of the South Doha Substation (Qatar) also started in the same month and the experimental operations of Al-Jasra sub-station (in Bahrain) in April, recalled al-Najjar.
The Kahramaa official added the actual operations of the sub-stations began a few days after the signing of Power Exchange and Trading Agreement (PETA). The agreement, he said, set out the regulations and procedures of electricity exchange and trading through the IC grid, during usual period and also in the event of emergencies.
The PETA defines the commitments of GCC Inter-connection Authority and GCC electricity bodies in power trading and transmission. It also lays down the main regulatory conditions and rules of power exchange and trading operations, among member states, through the GCC power inter-connection grid.
The PETA includes, as well, the operation standards of the GCC interconnection grid. The agreement, according to the Kahramaa statement, is a successful step in the electricity integration march to enhance the capacities of the GCC states.
While lauding the ambitious $1.4bn GCC power grid, al-Najjar said under the new initiative those power deficient GCC states could get power during emergencies and otherwise, especially in summer when there is maximum demand from the supplies of their neighbouring grid partners. This strategic project, he said, provides GCC states with uninterrupted electricity supplies, especially in the event of emergencies.
In case of any power breakouts, the project will also facilitate strategic support. With its total capacity of about 5,000 megawatts, it will help drastically to save the costs to be incurred on the construction of more power plants.
The next two phases of the grid are likely to be completed and operated by 2011. The Phase II would connect the southern systems (UAE and Oman) while Phase III will interconnect both phases.
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