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Egypt Begins First Steps in Becoming Regional Energy Hub

September 20, 2018

In November, Egypt will switch on the power for an electrical grid pilot project providing 300MW of power to Sudan. That’s just the beginning for its grand plans ahead.

As its own economy takes off, Egypt has chosen electricity generation as one of the means to become – literally – a major “power player” in the region. It hopes to become the place to go for additional power for northern African countries and along the Nile river valley.

A test project which Egypt built as a way of piloting how best to share energy

Not long ago the country greenlit a pilot project for Egypt to test how to make this work most effectively. It arranged for a special grid energy sharing project with Sudan. When that grid is up and running, Egypt will be supplying up to 300MW of electricity into the Sahel region nation.

Under this arrangement, Egypt and any country it shares power with will need to pay the cost of setting up the electrical connections from the shared lines into its national network.

For the Egypt-Sudan connection side of the pilot project, the project is well under way. The anchoring concrete foundations for the electricity towers ae already set up. The electrical connection line is to be built next, for a total cost of US $25 million. Transformer station Toshka 2 will soon be set up to connect to Sudan’s Arqin transfomers, with a voltage on the first phase of structure at 220kV. A second phase of electrical connection within Sudan’s borders will step up the voltage to 500kV.

Besides the project’s pivotal value for Sudan to help drive economic growth and for Egypt to demonstrate how to share electricity, the new electrical line does much more. Since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has taken charge in Egypt, he has worked hard to build strong relations with Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir. The two countries plan multiple cooperative ventures together. They include the electricity supply arrangement being launched in November, along with other joint projects in education, industry, health, and sports.

The two leads will meet in Khartoum in October to discuss the progress of the electricity grid connection and other near-term plans to bring the countries closer together.

Copyright: North America Procurement Council Inc., PBC