UAE signs deal to set up common power grid

Jan 15, 1997 01:00 AM

Jan. 8, 1997 The United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an agreement with a local company to start linking the electricity networks of its seven members as part of a project to set up a common grid. The $ 45 mm contract to link the power grids in the northern emirates is a first stage for a joint network. The first stage covers the grids of the emirates of Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain and the central region. The project will be completed in 18 months and would supply electricity to those emirates until the year 2010. The contract is part of the UAE's plan to set up a unified electricity network and rehabilitate it later to be ready for a link-up with the Gulf electricity network in case it is carried out. The common grid in the UAE, a federation of seven Gulf emirates, would cut production costs and tackle power shortages in some areas. The total cost of the unified grid are estimated at around $ 204 mm. Electricity consumption in the UAE is among the highest in the world, growing at more than 10 % a year.The large demand is attributed to the high per capita income and a steady expansion in the industrial sector.
The UAE and the other five Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states-- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar-- have plans to link their power networks in a project that could cost nearly $ 2 bn. But the ambitious venture has been held up by financial problems and political rifts within the 16-year-old political, defence and economic alliance.

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