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Billion dollar Gulf grid signs first contractors

The Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) has awarded a brace of contracts for phase one of its billion-dollar ‘Gulf Grid’ project to link the electricity networks of six Gulf states.

The Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) has awarded a brace of contracts for phase one of its billion-dollar ‘Gulf Grid’ project to link the electricity networks of six Gulf states.

French firm Areva walked away with two contracts totalling US $233.5 million. Under the first contract, Areva will build the Middle East’s first high-voltage direct current (HVDC) station to convert the frequency between Saudi Arabia’s 380 kV 60 Hz transmission grid and the 400 kV 50 Hz backbone power network connecting Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.

Areva’s second contract is to design and build the GCC grid’s entire automation solution to simplify the integration between the different automation systems.

Swiss-based ABB won a $220 million contract to deliver six 400-kV gas-insulated substations, including gas-insulated switchgear, circuit breakers, transformers and shunt reactors as the main components.

According to the firm, work will start immediately and is scheduled for completion by January 2009.

The GCCIA also awarded a $16.9 million contract to Canada’s SNC-Lavalin, encompassing the supervision of the final designs and suppliers, as well as the construction of the project itself.

Klaus Triendl, executive vice-president, SNC-Lavalin Group said: “We are pleased with this latest sign of GCCIA confidence in our expertise in interconnection systems, and we look forward to ... our working relationship with them.”

The Gulf Grid project will be carried out in three phases: Phase one will link Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait; phase two will link the UAE with Oman; and all six states will be linked up in the final phase.

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