The interconnection of the electric power systems in the Middle East has been the subject of international consultation since 1984. Studies are being conducted in the following two groups: the interconnection of the electric power system in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman; and the “Mashreq Interconnection Study,” sponsored by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development-Kuwait, is a feasibility and technical study for the Mashreq Arab countries of Egypt, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE and Yemen. Studies confirmed it was technically and economically feasible to interconnect the electricity systems of the six GCC countries, providing improved reliability of each national system and strategic protection in the event of catastrophic system outages. Also, interconnection facilities were planned as well as incidental energy trading, allowing for economical scheduling of generation and by reducing the generation reserve margin from 28% to 18%, optimizing investment in new generation plant.
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