The six GCC states have almost completed a feasibility study for a $2,500 million project to link their electricity networks. The scheme is part of a bigger project which will eventually link the grids of all Arab states at a cost of $6,500 million.

The Doha-based Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consultancy (GOIC) says the two-phase project will be finished by 2003. The first phase will cover the UAE and Oman and the second will link the networks of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.

The link-up will enable the GCC states to save money and upgrade electricity production. It will also relieve pressure on the generating capacities of member countries by allowing them access to alternative sources of power during peak periods.