Gaza to be connected to Egyptian power grid in 19 months
Feb 11, 2008 - Xinhua
The Gaza Strip will be completely connected to the Egyptian electricity network in 19 months, a Palestinian official announced on Monday.
Omar Katana, chief of the Palestinian Energy Authority, said that the Gaza Strip would be connected to the Egyptian electricity network via a power plant in the coastal city of al-Arish located in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
"We are waiting to accomplish some outstanding technical issues and then we will publish tenders in the Arab and international newspapers to carry out this project," Katana said, estimating that the project will take 19 months.
The Islamic International Bank has granted 32 million U.S. dollars as part of the project's expenditure and has signed the agreement with the Egyptian side, said Katana.
According to Katana, Egypt currently provides 17-20 megawatts of electricity to southern Gaza Strip, far short of the 220 megawatts of power demand of the coastal enclave.
Israel sells about 120 megawatts of power to the Gaza Strip via cross-border power feeders. Israeli restrictions on fuel deliveries to Gaza has made the sole power station in Gaza running at less than half capacity, producing some 40 megawatts out of 80.
Israel has tightened economic sanctions against Gaza and regularly raids the territory in an effort to stop rocket attacks launched by Gaza militants on southern Israel.