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KSA: In an initiative aimed at enhancing regional cooperation and bolstering energy security, the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) and Iraq have launched an electrical interconnection project. The project marks a significant milestone in the region’s energy landscape.

According to Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the connection represents the realization of a long-held dream, with the potential to yield tangible economic benefits and strengthen energy security.

Additionally, this power grid interconnection venture entails the implementation of a dual-circuit transmission line that will link the Saudi city of Afar to Yusufiya in western Baghdad. With an initial capacity of 1,000 megawatts, the project aims to address Iraq’s growing electricity demands in the years to come.

Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, governor of the Eastern Province, highlighted the wide-ranging advantages it would bring to the region. He further commented that “This project serves as a catalyst for a new era, ushering in broader horizons and expanding market opportunities.”

Moreover, the GCCIA plans to begin exporting electricity to southern Iraq by the end of 2024, a move that will not only support the Iraqi electrical grid but also enhance overall energy security.

Furthermore, Ali Jasim Mohammed Al-Mitiwiti, an Iraqi politician, expressed the significance of the agreement, describing it as a major turning point for Iraq. He emphasized that the project would contribute to the long-term improvement of the electricity network in southern Iraq, providing a sustainable supply of electrical energy and supporting the region’s sustainable development goals.

The interconnection project, signed between the GCCIA and Iraq, marks the first implementation of its kind outside the GCC countries’ electrical grid system. It will help meet the demand for electric power in southern Iraq, with an estimated capacity of approximately 500 megawatts. The project involves the installation of a 400-kilovolt dual-circuit transmission line spanning 322 kilometres, connecting the Al-Zour Substation to the Al-Faw Substation.

With the electrical interconnection project, the region takes a bold step forward in achieving energy security, economic prosperity, and strengthened cooperation among its nations.