Egypt and Saudi Arabia have postponed opening the financial envelopes for the tender for lines and transmission infrastructure for the planned electricity interconnection until next year.
According to a report in a local Egyptian newspaper, four companies have submitted financial offers for the main line and transmission package. The bidders reportedly include Germany’s Siemens and State Grid Corporation of China. The opening of the financial envelopes has now been pushed back until 25 January 2018.
The long-standing plans for a cross-border power line between Egypt and Saudi Arabia stalled in 2011 following the revolution in Egypt. On 1 June 2013, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt reaffirmed their commitment to the project, signing an MoU to build an estimated $2.1bn interconnection able to transport 3,000MW a day of electricity. It was hoped that the signing of the MoU would give the scheme fresh impetus, but the plan to tender construction contracts in first quarter of 2014 was delayed.
Despite initial delays, progress was made on financing the project in 2015. In March 2015, IDB signed an agreement with Egypt’s International Co-operation Ministry for a $200m loan to help fund the power link. Egypt is expected to fund about 40 per cent of the project, with Saudi Arabia scheduled to pay the remaining 60 per cent.
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