Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait have all linked their power grids, in a landmark project that is planned to meet rising power demand and stave off outages.
The UAE and Oman will join the US $1.4 billion scheme in 2011.
Plans for the network link-up were first drawn up in 2004, and the first stages of the project have included the interconnection of the Qatar grid with Kuwait and the commissioning of the first cycle of undersea cable between Bahrain and the main grid, both of which took place earlier this month.
“With the successful linking of the electricity grids of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, the member countries are close to achieving their goal of having a joint power grid for all six member states,” said Yusuf Janahi, chairman of the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA), according to the Arab News.
“The grid aims at guaranteeing an adequate supply of power even in emergencies and also reducing the cost of power generation in member countries. There will of course be other economic gains.”
The first phase of the project included a double-circuit 400kV, 50Hz line from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia. A similar line offers a submarine link to Bahrain.