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On Thursday, South Sudan installed equipment at a newly built 100MW power plant in Juba, which will increase access to electricity from the current 1% to 21% by 2020.

This is according to Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol, the minister of energy and dams, who noted that the 100MW would bridge the country's 500MW gap, which is needed to bolster electricity supply, Xinhuanet reported.

"The total demand according to the 2012 power assessment was 500MW. The construction of this 100MW will close that gap and raise electricity access to 21 percent," he said.

Minister Wol added that the suspension of the Norwegian support for construction of the 850MW Fula hydroelectric dam necessitated this, media reported.

"There are many young engineers and skilled workers who are engaged with this project," said Wol.

He added that the new plant will help ease the region’s dependency on heavy fuel fuel – currently there are 5,000 generators operating day and night in Juba consuming eight million litres of fuel.

Cross border electricity trade

In October last year, Uganda entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South Sudan, which will see Kampala extend electricity to South Sudan’s border towns of Kaya and Nimule.

Uganda’s state minister for energy Simon D’janga, explained at the time that the agreement is in line with the East Africa Community Power Pool Agreement, which calls on all member states to connect electricity to each other, the Sudan Tribune reported.

“Uganda is already implementing cross-border electrification with Rwanda and Tanzania, which is supplying power to Rakai, and we are going to connect power to Eastern DR. Congo,” D’janga said.

“All the power is coming from Uganda. We will supply 400kV of electricity we already have electricity in Nimule and Kaya but on Uganda side and now we want to extend it inside South Sudan,” he added. Read more: Uganda seals cross border electricity trade deal with S. Sudan