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Wed 15 Jul 2009 09:01 AM

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Gulf-wide power grid to go live this month

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain will link their power grids as part of a $1.4bn connection project.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain will link their power grids together this month, it has been reported.

The $1.4bn power connection project will help Gulf Arab nations meet rising power demands and prevent summer power cuts, Arab News reported.

The UAE is due to link up to the grid in 2011, according to a statement by the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA).

Representatives of the five Gulf nations signed a power trading agreement on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia. Oman has yet to sign the agreement, but is expected to join the power grid project at some point, the newspaper said.

“The agreement is between transmission system operators, power procurement companies and the GCCIA for the sole purpose of exchanging and trading electrical power,” Yousuf Janahi, chairman of the GCCIA said.

With populations growing Gulf countries are seeing increasing demands being put on their power resources. Blackouts and power cuts are commonplace during the hot summer months as air-conditioning use rises.

Last week it was reported Kuwait has been in talks with Qatar over power supply. But Qatar told Kuwait it had no available electricity to sell.

Meanwhile, Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity and Water gave its assurance there will not be power cuts this summer, according to the KUNA news agency. Meshaan Ol-Otaibi, ministry spokesman, said people had been urged to ration their use of electricity, but that was not an indication of upcoming shortages.

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