The Egyptian government will invite tenders for the Egypt-Saudi Arabia power link in mid-April, the electricity minister said on Monday.
Through the link, Egypt will send Saudi Arabia electricity in the afternoons, and Saudi Arabia will send electricity to Egypt in the evenings, taking advantage of the difference in the countries' peak use hours.
The project aims to exchange 3,000 megawatts of electricity through direct current electrical lines
In a statement, Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younis said he has received a report on the project's progress, and work is scheduled to start in January 2012. He said test operations will be conducted in early 2015.
The countries will split the project's cost, estimated at more than US$1 billion. The Saudi Electricity Company and the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company will each be responsible for the financing, operation and maintenance of the parts of the project on their land.
Underwater cables will be a shared responsibility of both companies.