Saudi Eyes Joint Grid With Turkey

The Kingdom’s cabinet has approved authorities to hold discussions with Turkey for a joint electricity grid.

Saudi Arabia will soon begin talks on establishing an electricity grid with Turkey.

The Kingdom’s cabinet has authorised the ministry of Water and Electricity to conduct discussions with Turkish authorities for creating the grid, reported Saudi Press Agency.

The ministry of Foreign Affairs, ministry of Finance, ministry of Petroleum andMineral Resources, Electricity and Co-Generation Regulatory Authority (ECRA), and the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) have been asked to submit their final recommendations on the subject.

In March this year, Abdullah al-Shehri, governor of ECRA, announced that SaudiArabia and Turkey had signed a memorandum of understanding about the grid. But, according to the senior Saudi official, the project was put on hold until the political situation in the region, especially in Syria and Iraq, stabilised. This is because any grid linking Saudi Arabia and Turkey would need to go through either Iraq or Syria, he clarified.

He also told reporters, “Although the feasibility study has not yet beenconducted, it is clear that there will be benefits. These simply have to bequantified.”

Meanwhile, the SEC has been increasing output in order to meet the growing power demand in Saudi Arabia. This year alone, the company has started several projects. These include the first phase of the Independent Power Project (IPP) in Rabigh that generates capacity of 600 megawatts, a central transformer in northwest Jeddah, an additional converter at Taif; and the operation of six main new transformers in Makkah and Jeddah.

SEC plans to boost capacity to at least 80,000 megawatts by 2020, from the current capacity of around 50,000 megawatts.