The techno-economic study and preliminary design for the Emirates national grid has been completed and submitted to the ministry of water and electricity (MEW).

It includes a proposal to create a new independent authority, the Federal Electricity Grid Authority, to build, own and operate the grid, and the building of an Emirates Control and Settlements Centre. Phase one of the estimated Dh630 million project which includes the study and design has been completed and feedback from the MEW is expected soon.

Phase one included preliminary design and the site survey from Fujairah to Taweelah in Abu Dhabi has been completed by Electricite de France , the main consultant for phase 1, along with Fichner of Germany.

Nicoud noted that the findings of the study economically justify such a grid as the return on investments for the four emirates, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah is estimated around 22 per cent for the basic scenario. The main benefit of the interconnection is the sharing of the spinning reserve with capacity savings equalling 1150 MW for the whole of the UAE power system up to 2010.

The general configuration of the proposed interconnection system includes two 400 kV circuits between Dhaid and H Station (Dubai), two 400 kV circuits between H Station and Shahama or Taweelah, a Dhaid 400/220 kV substation with two 500 MVA transformers and one 220 kV double circuit line between Dhaid and Saja (Sharjah).