Saudi Arabia says plans to connect electricity lines with Egypt are moving forward as part of efforts to ease chronic power shortages in Cairo and other cities.

The project, estimated at $2.2 billion, seeks to make Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies a key electricity exporter to Egypt and eventually across North Africa. The plans have been on the drawing board for years, but they were put on hold because of the Arab Spring uprisings.

The official Saudi News Agency reported Friday that discussions on the project have been concluded. An official signing ceremony is planned for Saturday.

Construction of the power lines is expected to take at least three years.