Muscat: The Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development have formalised the second financing agreement to advance the Gulf electrical interconnection system and its integration with the southern Iraqi grid.

In the distinguished presence of Jassim Muhammad al Budaiwi, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and Abdullah Ali al Yahya, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the GCCIA and the Kuwait Fund endorsed the agreement, valued at 35 million Kuwaiti dinars.

This strategic investment aims to fortify the GCC electrical interconnection system and enhance its linkage with the southern Iraqi network.

The accord was signed by Abdullah Ali al Yahya for the Kuwait Fund, and by CEO Eng Ahmed al Ebrahim for the GCCIA, at the headquarters of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

CEO Eng Ahmed al Ebrahim of the GCCIA remarked that these financing agreements represent a new era of collaboration between the fund and the authority in the ongoing expansion of the electrical grid.

This phase includes three major projects to enhance interconnections with Kuwait, the UAE, and Oman, in addition to the southern Iraq linkage, with total costs surpassing $1billion.

He highlighted that several expansion projects with other member states are currently under review, poised for implementation in the forthcoming years. The authority aims to leverage additional transmission capacities to activate the GCC common electricity market, facilitating electricity trade within and beyond the Gulf, potentially generating economic benefits exceeding $20 billion over the next fifteen years.

This ambitious project involves constructing a new interconnection station within the GCC grid in the Al Wafra region of Kuwait, spanning approximately 62,000 square metres.

It includes extending 400kV double-circuit overhead transmission lines for about 255 kilometers to connect the new station with the Al Fadhili substation in Saudi Arabia, and another 400kV double-circuit transmission line for roughly 295 kilometers from Al Wafra to the Al Faw substation in southern Iraq.

Furthermore, the project encompasses the procurement and installation of circuit breakers, reactors, and advanced control and measurement systems to establish and expand substations in Al Wafra, Al Fadhili, and Al Faw.

The initiative also involves augmenting the network connected to the Al Wafra station in Kuwait to accommodate approximately 3,000 megawatts, and enhancing the network in southern Iraq linked to the Al Faw station to handle at least 500 megawatts.

Jassim al Budaiwi articulated pride in this pivotal agreement with the Kuwait Fund, emphasising it as a symbol of enduring Gulf cooperation across all sectors, notably in electrical interconnection and the multifaceted efforts by GCC states to sustain regional integration.

He extolled the GCCIA's critical role in strengthening the shared electrical infrastructure among GCC countries and its connection with Iraq, underscoring this step's importance in achieving economic integration and sustainable development between the GCC and Iraq.

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