Saudi Gazette report
DAMMAM — The blueprint of a project
to link the Kingdom and Egypt with an electric
power grid is in its final stages and the project
may be offered for bidding by early next year,
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Water and
Electricity Saleh Al-Awaji has said.
"The electricity link between the two
countries may be realized in the next three
years after the start of the execution work," he
Al-Awaji was talking to newsmen after opening
the "Electricity and Energy Exhibition" here
on Tuesday. The exhibition, jointly organized
by the Dhahran International Exhibitions Company
and the Saudi National Electricity Company,
will end on Thursday.
"The project to link the two countries
with electric grid has been based on thorough
studies," he said.
Al-Awaji said the peak of the need for power
in the Kingdom is usually between 1 p.m. to
5 p.m. while in Egypt it is between 6-10 p.m. "Therefore
the Kingdom can import electricity from Egypt
during the day time and re-export it in the
evening," he said.
The official also said the need for power
in the Kingdom drops in winter while in Egypt
it maintains the same levels throughout the
year. "Hence there is an opportunity for
the Kingdom to export electricity to Egypt
in winter," he added.
Al-Awaji noted that the Kingdom has electric
links with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries
while Egypt is linked with eight eastern Arab
countries. "The two groups can benefit
from the grid link between the Kingdom and
Egypt thus creating an active market to exchange
energy between the countries of the region," the
Al-Awaji said the sector of water and electricity
in the Kingdom is growing fast and added that
investment in this sector may rise to more
than SR800 billion during the next 10 years.
"The contribution of the private sector
in these investments may be more than 30 percent.
Investors will, therefore, have ample opportunities
for investments," he said.
Al-Awaji revealed that studies were currently
being conducted to establish four new power
generating companies. "The studies are
also considering the participation of the local
and foreign private sector in the ownership
of these companies," he added.
He said the government is very serious in
its endeavor to exploit the renewable and the
nuclear energy. "A team of specialists
is currently working out the modalities of
this move under the umbrella of King Abdullah
City for Atomic and Renewable Energy," he
The undersecretary assured all subscribers
that there would be no power cuts this summer. "We
are well prepared for the summer season," he
said asking people to rationalize their water
and electricity consumption.