Egypt is ready to supply Sudan with as much electric power as it needs, according to minister of electricity and renewable energy Mohamed Shaker. Speaking on 21 March, he said the country had the available capacity and was ready to increase export capacity from 80MW to 300MW. Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company has already upgraded the transmission line running south-west from Benban to Toshka from 220kV to 500kV and a new transformer station will be commissioned shortly.
Other power sector officials have suggested ways in which export capacity to Sudan could be increased by a much larger amount. Former General Company for Electrical Projects chairman Al-Sayed Al-Shahat recently proposed converting the existing AC connection to an HVDC line. He argued this could allow an increase in capacity to 3,000MW in a first phase, increasing to 6,000MW later.
For Egypt the proposal has twin attractions. Not only would it provide an additional market to absorb its excessive generation reserve margin, it would also allow it to steal a march on its rival Ethiopia, which hopes eventually to export excess power from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to its neighbours.