Egypt-Saudi Arabia electricity interconnection project advances   

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The contract for the Egypt-Saudi Arabia electricity interconnection project billed as North Africa and the Middle East region’s first-ever large-scale high voltage direct current (HVDC) interconnection, has officially been awarded to SNC-Lavalin

The firm’s project management office (PMO) mandate for the 1.8 billion Egypt-Saudi Arabia electricity interconnection project includes supervising the execution and design of the project. It also involves the supervising of contractors throughout the construction, engineering as well as commissioning phases.

The project will not only be led by the company’s regional expertise within the Middle East, but it will also receive support from the company’s HVDC Center of Excellence located in Canada. The four-year contract was awarded by The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Corporation and The Saudi Electric Company.

The Egypt-Saudi Arabia electricity interconnection project to power millions

The Egypt-Saudi Arabia electricity interconnection project will run across 1,300 kilometres extending from Cairo in Egypt to Madinah in Saudi Arabia. There will be an intermediary point located within Tabuk in Saudi Arabia.

The interconnection between the two countries will make use of the high voltage direct current (HVDC) due to the great distance involved as well as the two countries using different electric frequencies. The HVDC technology will enable total control over the power flow in either direction.

Once the Egypt-Saudi Arabia electricity interconnection project has been completed, it will enable both Saudi Arabia and Egypt to exchange just about 3 gigawatts of electricity during peaking times. This will enable the powering of up to 20 million people.

Reported earlier

April 2020

Tender submission for Egypt-Saudi electricity Interconnection project suspended

The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) has announced the suspension of tender submission for the planned Egypt-Saudi Arabia electricity interconnection project due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the third postponement of the project so far.  Offers from interested companies had been received earlier but were cancelled due to changes in the line course to implement the Neom project in Saudi Arabia.

Neom is a planned cross-border city in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia intended to incorporate smart city technologies and also function as a tourist destination. The US$500B futuristic mega-city will be located near the Red Sea and the borders that Saudi Arabia shares with Egypt and Jordan.

Also Read: Egypt, Sudan joint electricity grid commence operation

The new proposal re-submission date

Technical and financial offers for the Egypt-Saudi electricity Interconnection project are expected in the next two months. The delay is set to last for up to 40 days.

The EETC had earlier invited seven companies to participate in the bidding process. The companies are El Sewedy Electric Co S.A.E, an Egyptian manufacturing company, China’s State Grid Corporation (State Grid), Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited (KPTL), Hyundai, Indias Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and KEC international. It is noteworthy that these companies will participate in the bidding process when the activity resumes.

The largest joint electricity grid in the Arab world

The Egypt-Saudi electricity Interconnection project will include the construction of overhead transmission lines between the two countries and an offshore power cable as well as power substations for transmitting approximately 3,000 megawatts (MW) between the two countries. Upon completion, the project will deliver the largest joint electricity grid in the Arab world.

The total value of the electrical interconnection is projected to be in the area of US$1.6 billion.  Each country will cater for the work done on its land.  In that case, Saudi Arabia is likely to spend US$1B or it’s whereabouts on its side.

Oct 2021

Egypt-Saudi Arabia electricity interconnection project advances

The proposed Egypt-Saudi Arabia electricity interconnection project is making significant progress following the signing of contracts between the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company together with the Saudi Electricity Company and three local and international companies.

The companies in question are; Saudi Services for Electro Mechanic Works; Orascom Construction PLC, a leading global engineering and construction contractor based out of Cairo Egypt, and with a footprint covering the Middle East, Africa and the United States and operations encompassing the infrastructure, industrial and commercial sectors; and

Hitachi ABB Power Grids, the behemoth joint venture firm officially launched last year (2020) when Japanese technology conglomerate Hitachi acquired a majority share in Swiss conglomerate ABB’s Power Grids business.

An overview of the Egypt-Saudi Arabia electricity interconnection project contracts in question

The contracts, signed simultaneously between Riyadh and Cairo, cover the construction of three high-voltage substations, (the East Madinah Station and the Tabuk Station in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Badr Station in East Cairo, Egypt), linked by overhead transmission lines with a total length of about 1,350 meters and marine cables in the Gulf of Aqaba with a length of approximately 22 kilometres.

Also Read: Construction of Marsa Shagra Resort solar-powered desalination plant in Egypt

Orascom Construction and Hitachi ABB Power Grids will jointly undertake the work in Egypt while Hitachi ABB and Saudi Services for Electro Mechanic Works will carry out the rest of the work in the kingdom.

Valued at approximately US$ 1.8bn, upon completion, the project is expected to have a capacity of 3,000 megawatts. It is hoped to increase the stability and reliability of the electrical supply between the two nations, with significant economic and developmental returns.