Saudi Arabia is working with India on a deep ocean cable project, in an effort to form a renewable energy grid between the middle East and the South Asian country. This will be part of the discussion agenda when Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman visits New Delhi on a day-long visit to prepare the ground for Saudi Prime Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s trip to India next month. Reported The Economic Times.
Taking the conversation beyond oil exports, sources in the know said both sides are likely to initiate discussions on an undersea cable for an electricity grid involving South Asia and the Gulf countries. The two are exploring the commercial viability of such a project.
Abu Dhabi government might also join the ambitious project with the capital cost between $15 billion to $18 billion, according to preliminary industry estimates. The project is proposed to be connected to western coast in Gujarat from the Gulf coast.
Leading corporations like the Tata Group, Reliance Industries Ltd., JSW, Sterlite Power, and Adani, among others, have already received invitations from the Saudi envoy to India asking for their opinions. The crown prince will visit India first before travelling to Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan.
The Arabian Sea separates the Gujarat coast (Mundra Port) from the emirate of Fujairah, a distance of 1,600 kilometres. The cable might possibly travel 1,200 km through Oman, with the deepest point at 3.5 km. According to the sources, three years ago, petroleum and natural gas officials did a feasibility study but the project has only just started to move forward as a result of the Indian government’s push for the International Solar Alliance.