India has commenced a study to determine the technical feasibility of an undersea power link with Saudi Arabia, a senior official at India’s Ministry of Power told Zawya Projects.

“The study aims to identify and seek solutions for technical aspects. For example, there could be deep trenches undersea at some places that could be a challenge,” said a senior official who didn’t wish to be named.

The official who is part of the team associated with the project said other administrative aspects like cost sharing, who will build the line, and the regulatory mechanisms that need to be put in place need to be assessed.

“We are sharing the technical study aspects with the countries concerned and taking their inputs to proceed further. Technical study is just the start…after which diplomatic negotiations and the administrative viability will follow”, he said without giving a timeline for the study.

India has constituted a committee under the aegis of the country’s Ministry of Power to undertake the technical studies that include India’s leading technical organisations the Central Transmission Utility of India, Powergrid and the Central Electricity Authority, he said.

Bilateral negotiations are underway for similar projects with Oman and the UAE as well, he added.

India had signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Saudi Arabia in October 2023 and with the UAE last month encompassing electricity interconnectivity and electricity trading among other projects.

A preliminary study done by India had envisaged a 1,000 km high voltage direct current (HVDC) undersea cable connecting Gujarat in India’s West Coast to Oman.

The Middle East GCC power link is the first phase of the India initiated One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) global power interconnectivity project that aims to link India, Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Far East to enable round the clock renewable power sharing among participating countries.

In an article in Forbes, Pratik Agarwal, Managing Director, Sterlite Power, a global integrated power transmission provider, articulates that the GCC-India undersea cable link could cost about $3.5 billion for a 3-gigawatt link and the power transmitted through the link could cost less than 2.5 US cents per unit.

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(Reporting by Sowmya Sundar; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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