Kuwait: Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah affirmed, Thursday, the importance of Al-Wafra power-station in the plan to link the GCC grid with southern Iraq. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the GCC power linkage project, an event patronized by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Sheikh Salem said that Al-Wafra power-station would provide around 3,000 megawatts of electricity to the national grid of Kuwait.

Regionally, the station would link the power grids in southern Iraq and the GCC, affirmed Sheikh Salem -- also chairman of the board for Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) -- adding that contracts were signed for this strategic project with initial construction occurring by 2024.

Amani Bugammaz

He revealed that the KFAED's contribution to the energy sector globally had reached KD 1.6 billion (around USD 5.6 billion), saying that this reflected Kuwait's keen interest in this sector. On her part, Minister of Public Works, Water, Electricity and Renewable Energy Dr. Amani Bogammaz said that kick-starting the GCC power-grid project in Kuwait, displayed an increasing interest in boosting energy in the region.

She revealed that the Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water and counterparts in the region studied different aspects of the project, which led to the establishment of Al-Wafra station, an important facility added to the Kuwaiti network capacity of 400 kilovolts. The station would be linked to Al-Faadli station in Saudi Arabia as well as stations within Kuwait including Al-Zour, Wafra and others, she noted.

Naif Al-Abbadi

If all goes according to plan, the GCC grid would be linked to the one in Iraq and afterwards to the global grid by December 2024, she pointed out. Also speaking at the ceremony, chairman of the board for the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) Dr. Naif Al-Abbadi said that the infrastructure for the GCC project commenced way back on December 14, 2009 in Kuwait.

Since then, the project has contributed to the economic welfare of the region and opened the door for all possibilities, he added. He affirmed that the grid succeeded in preventing total shutdown by 100 percent via providing necessary power supplies through the vast network stretching for 1,000 kilometers from northern Kuwait to the south of the Gulf region.

The GCC power grid has decreased capital expenses in the region since launch, Al-Abbadi revealed, saying that the network has provided 2,700 cases of support with 226 in 2021. He said that the grid cut expenses by USD 200 to 300 million with the accumulative number since the beginning of the project reaching a tremendous USD three billion, a number that covered the operational and investment costs of the project that hit USD two billion.

The current Al-Wafra power-station is part of the expansion of the GCC grid, said Al-Abbadi, indicating that construction cost was around USD 270 million. The station would provide 3,500 megawatt of electricity, which would be beneficial for the Kuwaiti network, he added.

He commended the role of KFAED in funding the Al-Wafra project and efforts to link the station to the southern region of Iraq. He extended his gratitude to the Kuwait Gulf Oil Company (KGOC) for providing the plot of land to construct the station in November 2022.