Green light for GCC project

The Saudi Arabian cabinet has given the go-ahead for the first stage of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) unified power grid. The move paves the way for a meeting of the GCC water and electricity ministries to discuss final details of the project`s first stage.

The project will link the power grids of six Gulf countries in three separate stages, and will take three years to develop. Unofficial studies have put the cost of the first stage, plans for which have already been finalised, at $1.9bn. Plans for the second stage are reportedly being drawn up.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will be linked in the first stage; while the second stage will link the grids of Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE). A third stage will unite the grids of the first two stages.

The GCC governments will meet 35 per cent of the overall project costs.