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World Bank: Electricity interconnection capacities among Arab countries below 5.2%

Electricity pylons and power transmission lines [Reuters]
Electricity pylons and power transmission lines [Reuters]

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has only 5.2 per cent of its total electricity generation capacities, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

The Bank added in a statement on Wednesday that the countries in the region have about 300 GW of installed capacities to generate electricity, while the available interconnection capacities to transfer power across borders do not exceed 15.8 GW, equivalent to only 5.2 per cent.

"Only a small part of these capacities is being exploited commercially," continued the World Bank.

"When the region is fully interconnected, the MENA regional energy market will become the second-largest regional electricity market after the European Union," said Paul Noumba Um, Regional Director of Infrastructure at the World Bank Group.

He explained that "this requires a combination of supporting factors, such as stronger transport networks and increased investments in low-cost renewable energy sources."

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In partnership with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the World Bank Group and the Arab League launched, in Cairo, on Wednesday the first conference on energy trade in the Arab region over two days.

The conference will bring together energy and electricity ministers from Arab countries as well as regional and international energy experts to discuss the strategic directions of bringing the concerned parties together and deepening understanding of the national and regional benefits of cross-border electricity trade.

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