The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has approved a funding plan for the GCC power grid project, estimated to cost $6 billion.

The first phase involves linking the grids of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar, and will cost $2.25 billion. Saudi Arabia will contribute about 40% of the first-phase cost, Kuwait 36.5%, Qatar 13.5% and Bahrain about 10%. The Dammam-based Gulf Electricity Link Authority (GELA) will oversee implementation.

The second phase involves linking the grids of Oman and the UAE. The resulting two mega-grids will be joined in the final phase.

The project, which GCC states began discussing some 20 years ago, is expected to aid the development of the GCC common market as well as integrating its power systems.

Under the first phase, a 422 km overhead line will link Kuwait’s

Al-Zour substation to Saudi Arabia’s Ghunan plant near Dammam where conversion to 380 kV will take place.

From Ghunan, a 90 km, 220 kV line will connect to Al-Jasra substation in Bahrain. Also from Ghunan, a 290 km, 400 kV overhead line will carry the power to Salwa power station in Qatar, which will be connected by a 100 km, 220 kV overhead line to Ras Abu Fontas A and B power stations.