HomeFeatures/AnalysisExclusive interview with Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol (PhD), Minister, Ministry of Energy...

Exclusive interview with Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol (PhD), Minister, Ministry of Energy and Dams

South_Sudan_ministerDr Diing is part of a ministerial opening panel from six East African countries: Kenya, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, including three ministers, that is confirmed to address the opening session at the East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) on 21 September in Nairobi.

1) Honourable minister, thank you for this opportunity.  What opportunities would you say are there for prospective investors in the energy sector in South Sudan?
Energy in South Sudan is promising. Despite the opportunities available in the country in term of hydro and new source of energy in South Sudan there is a gap between the need and actual production power. While the country demands around 1000 MW, the existing power is only 1%, which made South Sudan to be the least country in the world in term of energy.

2) What do you see as the main challenges currently facing South Sudan in terms of its energy infrastructure?
Political stability: the absence of political stability in South Sudan is affecting development and growth in the country.

3) The 500MW Kosti thermal power station that was recently commissioned, this is a big step forward for the region. What contribution will this make to the region’s economic development?
Kosti is in Sudan. South Sudan currently is importing 40MW from Kosti to Renk and the Ministry is planning to extend this line to Malakal through both the Eastern and Western bank of the River Nile.

4) Other power projects in the pipeline?
I.    Rehabilitation  and extension of Juba power distribution network which is being financed by grant from African Development Bank
II.    Upgrading Juba power station from 12 MW to 100MW.
III.    Construction of Grand Fulla Dam with capacity of 1080 by USA company AAE
IV.    Interconnection of 400kV transmission line from Uganda (Olwiyo) to South Sudan (Juba).

5) What incentives are in place for those companies interested in getting involved in projects in South Sudan:
The reforms in the energy and dams sector that the Ministry is currently revising:
I.    Legislations
II.    Short, medium and long term policies
III.    Organizational structures

6) More and more projects in this sector on the continent are being financed through Public-Private-Partnerships, your views?
For energy as a commodity should finance itself without government funding so Build Operate Transfer (BOT) system is more appropriate in the situation of South Sudan.

7) How important is it for South Sudan to be involved in regional power projects? What developments are there in the Nile Basin projects?
South Sudan commits itself to a regional integration policy. Among those projects necessary for the regional integration is regional power interconnectivity. South Sudan is pursuing three lines with Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda.

8) Your predecessor also addressed last year’s East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) – how important is this regional meeting? What was the feedback?
For regional integration to commence quickly, it is important for the leaders to regularly and frequently meet to review the achievements and progress made. Close follow-up by the leaders is much needed for success of the projects.

9) What will be South Sudan’s message at this year’s event?
With all the abundant energy resources, South Sudan still remains the least in access to electricity in the continent; we are inviting the investors to come to explore these resources.

10) Anything you would like to add?
There are many investment opportunities in the energy sector in South Sudan; the government is offering investment incentives and trying to provide a conducive environment for investment.