GCCIA exploring new electricity interconnect between Oman & Saudi Arabia

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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A new interconnect between the electricity grids of the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is currently under study, according to the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP).

OPWP is the single buyer of power and water for all IPP or IWPP projects within Oman. It is responsible for ensuring that there is sufficient electricity and water production capacity available at the lowest cost to meet the growing demands in the Sultanate.

According to the statement, the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) is conducting a detailed study centering on the establishment of an interconnect linking Oman at Ibri directly to Salwa in Saudi Arabia.

This will be the second interaction between Oman and its Gulf neighbors when it is finally approved for implementation.

“The study’s initial outcomes indicate that the net transfer capacity to Oman would increase from 400 MW to about 1,600 MW. Accordingly, it is expected that the two interconnects would contribute more to the planning reserve requirements,” the company said.

The first interconnection, which is facilitated by the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA), came into operation in 2012. “It links the Main Interconnected System (MIS) of the Sultanate and the power systems of the GCCIA via Abu Dhabi (UAE). This 220 kV interconnection allows Oman access to the power systems of the five GCC member states via this link,” as per the reports.

“The interconnection is a double circuit link that supports reliable transfers of up to 400 MW and can carry up to 800 MW in emergencies. The link has provided emergency reserves on a number of occasions, preventing power failures in the MIS,” OPWP added.

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