The Interconnection Project between Egypt and Saudi Arabia
On Tuesday, October 5th, Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed a cooperation agreement to establish the electrical interconnection project started in 2012 between the two countries. The agreement was carried out by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, a long-time member of Med-TSO, and the Saudi Electricity Company.
From the Egyptian side, Eng. Sabah Mashaly, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and Vice-President of Med-TSO, signed the contracts under the patronage of Dr. Shaker Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy and Minister Rania Al-Mashat Minister of International Cooperation, along with the contribution of members from EETC also involved in Med-TSO technical activities: Eng. Neveen Saleh, Technical Committee Planning Chairperson, Dr. Bahaa El-Deen Sauodi, Vice-Chairperson of Technical Committee Regulation and Institutions, Eng. Naglaa el–Khatteb, Member of Technical Committee Economic Studies and Scenarios, Dr. Taghred Amer, member of Technical Committee Regulation and Institutions and Eng. Adel El Hariry, member of Technical Committee Operation.
Eng. Sabah Masally, worked hard to achieve the interconnection project, as well as the plans to develop the national network by adding new substations and transmission lines on the different voltage levels and developing the existing infrastructure for the unified national network.
The Egyptian–Saudi electrical project aims to be a main axis in the Arab interconnection, which seeks to establish an infrastructure for electricity trade between Arab countries, in preparation for the establishment of a common electricity market.
The project consists in exchanging 3000 MW with a total cost of $1.8 billion and a 500 kV HVDC technology. The first phase of the project will be carried out in 2023 with a capacity of 1500 MW, noting that the rest of the capacities are scheduled to enter successively until they reach 3000 MW.
It also involves the activity of three consortiums of international and local companies to carry out the construction of three high-voltage substations on 500 kV, the East Madinah Station, the Tabuk Station and Gulf of Aqaba in the Kingdom, and the Badr Station in East Cairo in addition to switching station in Taba, linked by overhead transmission lines 500 kV with a length of about 1,350 meters and marine cables in the Gulf of Aqaba with a distance of 22 km.
The signing of this agreement comes as the culmination of the depth of the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian relations throughout history. It affirms the leadership of the two countries in achieving the economic and social goals of the Arab world, considering that the project will be the nucleus of a common Arab interconnection.
The plan represents a strong link between the two most prominent electric networks in the region, and it will bring common benefits for the Arab region. These will significantly enhance the reliability related to sustaining the stability of the national electrical networks, improving their reliability and making the most favourable use of the generation capacities available in them and the timing differences in their peak electrical loads. The contracts open the path for both countries to achieve the ambitious goals by 2030 of attaining renewable energy sources within the optimal mix of electricity production and activating trade exchange.