South Sudan’s Ministry of Energy and Dams is working on the rollout of public-private partnerships to bring power to regional cities, based on the success of its partnership with Ezra Power in Juba.
The city grid became operational in 2019 and will electrify all homes and businesses by March 2020, said Minister of Energy and Dams, Hon. Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol.
Ezra has invested $289 million in a thermal and solar power plant that will add 100MW to the grid when fully completed. A new city grid has been constructed alongside the power generation plant.
“Electricity is a basic need and electricity is the engine of development. If you look into the criteria used to start development, you will see that electricity is at the top. If we aspire to be like other developing countries, we need to help generate electricity,” said Wol.
The ministry has acknowledged the high tariff price of the new power system and is working on reducing it as a priority. To assist low-income residents, the first 100kW of power is free.
Former Undersecretary and new Technical Advisor Eng. Lawrence Loku Moyu noted that the government had plans to expand the country’s grid networks adding that “these network expansions need human resources to develop; we need new engineers, technicians, to bring these expansions to South Sudan.”
Moyu further highlighted that after gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan had not yet obtained feasibility studies done by the Khartoum government on the power sector. Purchasing these studies and implementing their recommendations is a strategic objective for the ministry.
“The new engineers that we are recruiting will have to study this programme from the beginning. Getting these studies and implementing their recommendations is now a priority for us,” he concluded.