*** ----> GCCIA secures $43 m loan for Gulf electrical network expansion | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

GCCIA secures $43 m loan for Gulf electrical network expansion

TDT | Manama     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Ahmed Ali Al Ebrahim, CEO of the GCC Interconnection Authority, announced the signing of a second loan agreement worth approximately 43 million BHD with the Kuwait Fund for Economic Development.

This financing will support a project aimed at strengthening the Gulf electrical interconnection system and establishing a connection to the southern Iraq network.

Al Ebrahim reported that the project is 80% complete, with operations expected to commence by the end of 2024 and full readiness anticipated by 2026.

The project includes the construction of the Wafra station in Kuwait, set to be the largest in the Gulf electrical interconnection system.

This station will boost Kuwait's capacity from 1,200 megawatts to over 3,500 megawatts, a crucial enhancement for maximizing the benefits of Gulf connectivity and energy trade.

Additionally, the project involves building new transmission lines from the Al-Fadhili Station in Saudi Arabia to the Wafra power plant in Kuwait.

This initiative aims to amplify the economic and technical advantages for Gulf countries, potentially saving more than $300 million annually.

These financing agreements, supporting projects to enhance the electrical interconnection system and connect southern Iraq, mark the first collaboration between the Kuwait Fund and the Interconnection Authority during the network expansion phase.

Al Ebrahim confirmed plans for three major projects to improve connectivity with Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and the Sultanate of Oman, along with a project to connect southern Iraq, with a total cost exceeding one billion dollars.

Furthermore, Al Ebrahim shared that the Authority is working on expanding the electrical interconnection network with other member states.

Several projects are currently under study and are expected to be implemented in the coming years.

The goal is to enhance the economic benefits of electrical interconnection by utilizing additional transmission capacities to activate the common Gulf market for electricity.

This initiative aims to facilitate the exchange and trade of electricity between GCC countries and beyond, presenting an economic opportunity worth more than $20 billion over the next 15 years.