The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has started the development of the second phase of a regional power grid project in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The grid project is expected to save about Dh18.4bn ($5.01bn) in electricity costs for the GCC member states.

UAE vice-president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the aim of the project is to connect the electricity grids in GCC countries.

“This will provide a platform for energy trade and exchange, while improving the reliability of existing energy systems and lowering electricity reserve requirements on GCC countries,” Sheikh Mohammad added.

The members of the grid are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar and the cost of the grid is estimated to be Dh5bn ($1.36bn), of which the UAE contributed Dh800m ($217.84m).