3rd Regional Power Trade Forum 2014 kicks off on Sunday in Abu Dhabi; Gulf mulls emulating European power grid experience
ABU DHABI- Organisers of 3rd Regional Power Trade Forum 2014 that kicks off on Sunday (28th September 2014) at Yas Viceroy Hotel in Abu Dhabi have stressed the strategic role and increased significance of the electricity network linking the Gulf states.
According to the organisers, this network has been a major contributor to the increase in the Gulf electricity reserves and exchange of energy during emergencies across all Gulf States.
The GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) has revealed that the GCC electricity interlinks have diminished incidents of blackouts, whose number had reached 1,072 by 2009.
The incidents of blackouts usually happen due to loss of generation units or heavy loads in peak times on interconnected networks. The GCC interconnection network power has exceeded 50,000 MW (megawatt).
HE Dr. Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the GCCIA will be a key speaker at the regional forum which assembles board members, members of consulting and organising committee and high level delegations from the GCC states, in addition to international experts in the fields of energy and energy marketing.
Explaining the crucial role of electricity in the socio economic development and the correlation between economic growth and electricity consumption and investment, Al Neyadi said the interconnected electricity network of the Gulf saves fuel expenses used to generate energy and also helps reduce production and operation expenses of electricity generation in the GCC electrical networks. This also leads to savings in the operational costs as energy import and exchange become cost effective.
This regional forum stresses the importance of GCC electricity linkage project, and considers it a pillar in Gulf’s economic integration. GCCIA will highlight the European experience in this domain and ways of transferring it to the Gulf region.
Eng. Adnan Bin Ibrahim Al-Muhaisin, CEO of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) said this forum will showcase case studies from Europe, Asia, and America in electricity linkage networks, by exchanging expertise, highlighting industry updates, giving insights into available opportunities in Gulf energy market, as well as studying electricity exchange constraints and ways to overcome them.
Eng. Al-Muhaisin elaborated that the volume of electricity exchange between GCC states touched 46.31 GW during 2011 through bilateral trade contracts. While the volume of unscheduled electricity exchange in GCC mounted to 831 GW in 2013.
He added that GCC electricity exchange volume could be increased by using more efficient generating units and accommodating increased loads at peak time which will reduce generating costs.
The total value of electricity exchanged between GCC states amounted to USD 1.82 billion during 2010.
GCCIA is seeking to develop the energy market in the Gulf region, and develop trade transactions which will benefit countries with surplus production or high capacity and efficiency in production, by selling this surplus.
Eng. Ahmed Al-Ebrahim, CEO, GCCIA said that electricity exchange deals coming through imports from most efficient production countries contribute to reducing fuel consumption (oil and gas) used in the generation cycle.
Eng. Al-Ebrahim stressed that the aim of GCCIA is to develop and expand the operations in energy market to the entire region, with plans to establish trade relations in this field with other countries around the world.