Gulf power grid to include UAE by mid-2011
Link to Oman still under study.
December 15, 2010 10:36 by Reuters
The United Arab Emirates will be linked to the Gulf’s power grid by mid-2011 while links to Oman and Egypt are still under study, an official said on Tuesday. Gulf Arab countries last year completed the first phase of a regional power grid that they hope will help them meet rapidly rising regional demand and smooth out capacity at peak times to avoid power outages.
The grid currently links Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.
“Before the end of June of the coming year, the United Arab Emirates will be connected,” Adnan al-Mohaisen, chief executive of the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA), told reporters in Manama.
He said that the network has seen about 200 cross-border power transfers since operations started in July 2009.
While the network is currently mainly used for emergency transfers to avoid power outages, officials hope it will in the future create a Gulf-wide market to trade power. Mohaisen said countries needed to bilaterally agree on prices while the GCCIA has decided on tariffs to use the network’s capacity.
He said that an extension to include Oman in the network is still under study and that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have agreed to study linking up their networks under the umbrella of the Arab League.
(Reporting by Frederik Richter; Editing by Firouz Sedarat)