The GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) today began the 3rd Regional Power Trade Forum 2014 under the theme, "Developing Power Trade through the GCC Interconnector" at the Yas Viceroy Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
The inaugural session was attended by Dr. Matar Al Neyadi, Under-Secretary of the U.A.E. Ministry of Energy and Chairman of the Board of Directors, GCCIA, Dr. Saleh Alawaji, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Saudi Electricity Company, Deputy Minister for Electricity, KSA, Adnan bin Ibrahim Al-Muhaisin, CEO, GCCIA, Daniel Dobbeni, Chairman of GO-15, Ahmed Al-Ebrahim, Vice President of Operations, GCCIA and Pierre Bernard, Managing Partner, Bernard Energy Advocacy, as well as regional and international media representatives.
Dr. Al Neyadi said that the GCC electricity network could save up to US$1,800 million in fuel operating costs if GCC energy exchange is activated.
Al Neyadi said the GCC grid had prevented over 1,072 incidents of power black outs since 2009, through direct instantaneous transfer of required power across the grid, thus avoiding losses that could have been triggered due to full and partial interruptions.
A recent economic report prepared by the GCC Interconnection Authority and submitted to the Electricity and Water Cooperation Committee (which comprises GCC electricity and water Ministers), reports that the actual savings were even more than was projected in the initial feasibility study of the project which has shown $5 billion in investments and $1800 million in fuel operating costs. These benefits included installing electrical generators using nuclear energy and expanding the use of renewable energy sources in the GCC grid, which reduced the capital cost per megawatt of installed capacity.
Dr. Al Neyadi said that 3rd Regional Power Trade Forum agenda will tackle several important topics, including expertise in the evolution of the power market in the GCC and international case studies in power trading, as well as the restructuring of the power sector in Gulf region and the development of local energy markets.
The forum also included a discussion of the potential held by the winter and summer seasons for the electricity grid and efficient steps to activate the electricity trade market immediately. A series of recommendations will be announced on the concluding day tomorrow, Monday September 29th, including effective steps for developing power trade in the GCC and updating the action plan to facilitate market exchange between members of the GCCIA.
Dr. Alawaji applauded the efforts of GCCIA on the work followed up by the technical committees to achieve sustainable development and maximum efficiency through clear bilateral contracts. He said, "We support the GCCIA approach and we are committed to further cooperation between members to achieve electricity savings in the coming years." Al-Muhaisin said, "We are discussing a new business strategy based mainly on efficiently utilising excess capacity which contributes to good results, most notably the rationalisation of production and operation costs." Ahmed Al-Ebrahim said, "The GCCIA is very keen to find state of the art services with global operational standards to be a revenue resource on its own. This is reflected in organising this Forum which comes at a time when all GCC countries are seeing growth in their economic sectors. We are discussing the latest trends followed in the European Union, Central America and East Asia in this field and there are serious steps to implement what is the most convenient for the GCC." The two day forum will feature speakers including Fatima Al-Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Rene Gonzalez, Executive Director ROE, SIEPAC, James Matthys-Donnadieu, COO APX Group, CEO Belpex, Tan Liang Ching, Vice-President, EMC-Singapore, Daniel Dobbeni, Chairman, GO-15 and Pierre Bernard, Managing Partner, Bernard Energy Advocacy and others.