Jordan, Saudi Arabia finalize feasibility studies for electrical interconnection

16-05-2024 12:00 PM

Ammon News - Amjad Rawashdeh, Director General of the National Electric Power Company, announced that Jordan and Saudi Arabia have finalized economic and technical feasibility studies for an electrical interconnection project between the two nations. He noted that draft agreements for the project are nearing completion.

In a press release, Rawashdeh, attending a workshop in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, for joint Arab market committees, emphasized the strategic significance of the interconnection project.

He highlighted its potential to integrate Saudi Arabia into the Gulf interconnection system, creating a nucleus for regional electrical energy exchange based on regulatory and legislative agreements currently under development.

The Dammam meetings are co-organized by the League of Arab States, represented by the Energy Department, the Gulf Electricity Interconnection Authority, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, and the World Bank Group.

Rawashdeh underscored the necessity of completing infrastructure projects to facilitate electrical connectivity among countries, noting Jordan's proactive steps in this domain. He mentioned ongoing projects, including the connection with Egypt and the developmental phase of the Iraq-Jordan link, crucial for the broader Arab Common Market's goal of connecting the Levant and Maghreb regions.

Sabah Mashaly, CEO & Managing Director of the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), reported that 40% of the first phase of the Saudi-Egyptian interconnection project is complete, with an expected operational date in mid-2025 to generate 1,500 megawatts.

The second phase, slated for completion by the end of 2025, aims to generate an additional 3,000 megawatts. Mashaly emphasized that this link will enhance connectivity with Gulf countries and facilitate projects linking North Africa to Europe.

Ahmed Al-Ibrahim, CEO of the Gulf Electricity Interconnection Authority, stated that the Dammam meeting's goal was to stimulate the newly formed committees' work on integrating Arab networks, laying the groundwork for a joint electrical market.

He described the initiative as a critical step toward electrical integration, building on the successes of Gulf network connections and aligning with market rules to accommodate renewable energy sources.

Al-Ibrahim highlighted future projects aimed at diversifying energy products, supporting services, and balancing the market to stimulate future trade. He also noted the strategic importance of connecting Iraq to the Gulf network, which serves as a gateway for broader connections with African and European networks, enhancing regional energy stability.

Muhammad Zakaria, head of the World Bank team supporting the Arab Common Electricity Market project, discussed the Bank's commitment to financing studies for establishing the market through economic mechanisms for energy trade.

He affirmed the World Bank's long-standing partnership with the League of Arab States since 2010 and its readiness to finance projects and support the Arab electricity market initiative. Petra

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