Egypt and Sudan are set to begin an electricity interconnection project linking their national grids. Initially, the program is expected to operate at a total capacity of 50MW and further rise to a total capacity of 240MW by the end of this year.
Sudan has committed to releasing about US $20m of the US $31.74m total cost for the grid, which will cover 1,000km. The state-owned Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company and Indian construction firm Larsen & Toubro are tasked with the undertaking’s implementation.
Expanding Cairo’s energy influence
The project comes as a part of Cairo’s efforts to become a regional energy hub by serving as an electricity conduit for Arab, African and European countries. Egypt already has electricity connections with Libya and Jordan and is planning to connect with Greece, Cyprus and Saudi Arabia.
The electricity interconnection project is aimed at developing infrastructure in both Egypt and Sudan and is expected to act as a precursor to economic exchange in the fields of energy and trade. Through the long-term goal of maintaining 15,000MW of surplus power, the project could aid future development in other Nile basin countries.
Egypt is among the few African countries that have already achieved 100% access to electricity. The country has a renewable energy capacity of 5.5GW, with a large share of hydropower (2.8GW) and the rest (2.7GW) divided between solar and wind power. Nevertheless, the government wants to install 61GW of green power plants by 2035.
2035 Sustainable energy strategy
Egypt initiated this programme years ago to further improve access to electricity throughout the country. Through this programme, the North African country hopes to increase the share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix to 42% by 2035.