Tenders will be invited next week for implementation of the first phase of the project to link member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in an electric power grid. The initial cost will be U.S. $1.25 billion; the total cost is estimated at over $3 billion. About 40 companies are planning to bid for the 13 contracts in the first phase, which will link Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. Saudi Arabia will meet 40 percent of the cost of the first phase, with Kuwait providing 36.5 percent, Qatar 13.5 percent and Bahrain 10 percent. The second phase will link the United Arab Emirates with Oman, and the third will join the two mega grids. The power grid will facilitate an exchange of electricity within the GCC, to meet growing needs, utilize surplus output, and ensure an uninterrupted supply.