The GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) — the operator of the transmission system linking the grids of the GCC member states —says it is weighing a direct electricity link with the main grid of the Sultanate of Oman – an initiative that could entail an investment of $660 million.
According to Eng Ahmed A al-Ebrahim, CEO —GCCIA, the project could enable energy transfers of between 1200 —1600 MW.
Speaking to the Observer on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), underway in the UAE capital, the official said that a three-year timeframe is envisioned for its implementation. The roughly 550km-long link would have a grid station each on either side of the international border between Oman and the UAE, he stated.
The Sultanate of Oman is already connected to the GCC grid via an interconnection with the UAE that came into operation in 2012. It links Oman’s Main Interconnected System (MIS) with the power systems of the GCCIA via Abu Dhabi. This 220 kV interconnection allows Oman access to the power systems of the five GCC member states via this link.
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.
Interconnects between Oman and the GCCIA have the potential to facilitate firm support during emergencies, as well as open up opportunities for electricity trading and coordinated reserves planning.