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Iraq, GCCIA super grid to benefit economy, environment : Kuwaiti officials

Project to connect Kuwait's Wafra station to Al-Faw station in Iraq

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Minister of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy Eng. Mutlaq Abu-Rguba said the new electrical interconnection project connecting the GCC super grid with the southern region of Iraq is a big stride in the regional Arab strategy. The project, which Abu-Rguba described as an important part of the vision of the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) for regional integration, was launched Thursday in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The inauguration ceremony took place in the presence of senior GCC government officials.

GCC Secretary-General Jassem Al-Budaiwi and Kuwait’s Abu-Rguba were in attendance. The GCC chief said the interconnection project is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects for the GCC countries. “The project will serve as a backup for the GCC power emergency response system and offset the carbon emissions in the entire region,” Al-Budaiwi said in a statement.

The ambitious undertaking, spearheaded by Qatar Fund for Development and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, involves the construction of a cutting-edge double circuit 400 kV transmission line stretching from the Wafra station in Kuwait to the Al-Faw station in southern Iraq. With a total length of 1,050 km, will provide essential backup to the regional power grid, said Abu-Rguba. Abu-Rguba noted that the project will bring great economic and technical benefits for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries.

It will support the GCC power emergency response system and help avert any partial or total blackouts in the future, the minister explained. Since 2009, the GCC super grid project has cut expenses by $3 billion in 2022, chairman of the board for the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) Dr. Naif Al-Abbadi said in 2022. According to the World Bank, electricity trade could save the Arab world $17-25 billion and reduce required capacity by 33 gigawatts (GW) through better mutual utilization of existing capacity. The GCCIA further estimates that GCC power trading could achieve savings of up to $24 billion by 2038.

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