Under the patronage of Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of the Eastern Province, the inauguration of the “Linking the Gulf Market” electricity project with Iraq took place at the headquarters of the Gulf Electricity Interconnection Authority in Dammam.
The Emir of the Eastern Province highlighted that the project for electrical interconnection among GCC countries is aimed at preserving energy security and fostering integration between these nations for the benefit of the Gulf’s residents.
Prince Saud emphasized the growing significance of energy security on a global scale as it underpins modern life. He noted that energy generation has evolved beyond traditional methods and sources, encompassing nuclear and renewable energy. The Governor expressed hope for expanding these horizons and involving more countries in these initiatives.
Prince Saud praised the diligent efforts of those responsible for the Gulf Electricity Interconnection Authority, which bolsters the credibility of energy security. He underlined their commitment to energy security, a constant presence in the networks of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and participating nations in the project.
Furthermore, the inauguration of this platform demonstrates goodwill towards the Republic of Iraq, given the geographical proximity between the two regions.
Regarding the Gulf market’s prospects, Yacoub Al-Kayoumi, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Gulf Interconnection Authority, stated during the ceremony that the project’s platform marks a significant step toward achieving the Authority’s goals. This involves launching the platform for connecting the Gulf electricity market with Iraq, opening up new market horizons.
He highlighted that the project provides an accurate system for managing the electrical market, replacing the current system to align with the evolving market requirements. This new system is designed to meet the specific goals and needs of the GCC countries and Iraq. The platform enhances the efficiency of the Gulf electrical interconnection, offering flexibility and automation, creating a unified solution for data exchange and information management.
Ahmed Al-Ibrahim, the CEO of the Gulf Electricity Interconnection Authority, elaborated on how the platform enables Iraq to exchange and trade electrical energy collectively, separately, or individually with GCC countries. This enhances flexibility and the smooth, effective exchange of energy, along with reserving the necessary transmission lines between Gulf nations.
The Authority anticipates trading around 2 terawatt units with Iraq during the summer period, and this trade is expected to continue into the winter season with quantities reaching half a terawatt unit. This energy exchange is estimated to contribute significantly to revenues, ranging from $200-300 million annually, depending on the energy source used in Iraq. Additionally, Iraq may receive payments of $100 million if liquefied gas is used to produce electricity or $215 million if oil is the energy source.
This initiative holds great promise for reinforcing energy security, fostering regional collaboration, and boosting economic opportunities.