The study will examine a range of issues, including security of supply, institutional ownership issues, distribution and environmental impact. ‘We will look at whether a GCC grid would be helpful in ironing out supply disruptions experienced by individual states,’ says a Sogreah spokesman. ‘The assessment will also examine whether a grid would bring down prices by supplying regionally whichever source of water – desalinated or groundwater – was cheaper at a particular time.’

A plan to establish a GCC power grid has been on the table for some 20 years but has suffered lengthy delays. The Dammam-based GCC Interconnection Authority, the body charged with building and operating the grid, has been in existence since 2001 (Power, MEED Special Report, 25:7:03, pages 19-20).