19 November 2009 – The GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) will organise a grand ceremony to mark the formal launching of the first phase of the multi-billion dollar GCC power grid project in Kuwait in December.
This will be on the sidelines of the 30th summit of the Gulf leaders, according to Dr. Saleh Al Awaji, undersecretary for electricity affairs at the Saudi Ministry of Water and Electricity. “The GCC heads of state will formally inaugurate the first phase of the project, which was actually commissioned in July this year,” he said.
Dr Saleh Al Awaji said that the second phase of the project will be completed next year.
The first phase of the $7bn power grid, which links Saudi Arabia to Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar through 800 kilometres of transmission lines, was commissioned on July 26.
The first phase was completed at a cost of $1.095bn. In the second phase, the United Arab Emirates and Oman will hook up to the grid next year.
The resulting two mega grids will be joined in the final phase, slated for operation in 2011. The power grid is expected to boost the electricity network and reduce the cost of power generation in GCC states drastically.