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Hitachi-ABB wins $900m order for Egypt-Saudi power link

Countries will exchange excess renewable energy via 1,350 km cable

Hitachi will adopt high-voltage direct current equipment to develop the cross-border grid connecting Egypt with Saudi Arabia.

TOKYO -- Japanese industrial conglomerate Hitachi has won a bid to build an electric power cable that will allow Egypt and Saudi Arabia to share surplus electricity generated by renewable sources.

Subsidiary Hitachi ABB Power Grids was awarded the contract through a consortium formed with Egyptian and Saudi construction companies. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but the deal is believed to be worth around 100 billion yen ($900 million).

The Egyptian-Saudi power interconnection is due to be competed in October 2025 at a total cost of $1.8 billion. With overhead transmission lines and an undersea cable stretching over 1,350 km, it will be one of the largest cross-border power networks connecting Africa and Asia.

The link will enable Egypt and Saudi Arabia to exchange up to 3,000 megawatts of power, with the electricity to be transmitted over the long span using high-voltage direct current, or HVDC.

Hitachi positions power transmission as a core business. Last year, the group closed the $6.4 billion purchase of a power grid unit from ABB, a major Swiss heavy electrical equipment supplier.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids has a record of delivering HVDC equipment throughout Europe. The company will apply its expertise to Africa and Asia, capturing demand for power-sharing from renewable energy sources.

Renewable energy is being adopted around the world amid the shift to decarbonization. But because solar and wind energy generation is dependent on the weather and other factors, such sources do not guarantee stable power supplies.

HVDC lines can prevent power shortages across the regions they serve by matching power supplies with the demand, distributing electricity according to differences in peak hours.

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