David Deng
Athorbe, electricity
and dams Minister
10 October 2012 – South Sudan’s electricity and dams minister David Deng Athorbe says the country is going ahead with some generation capacity projects, such as the US$100 million Fula dam in Nimule near the Ugandan border that will generate about 40 MW. South Sudan will provide about 25% of the funds, the Norwegian government will put in 50% and the rest will come from the private sector. Work is expected to start in February 2013 and finish within two years.

The country is also planning to build a crude oil-consuming 300 MW thermal plant in the oil rich Unity state, which will cost about US$250 million and be commissioned by 2015. South Sudan is requesting the funding for this as a loan from India with an Indian company having expressed interest in the project.

South Sudan has been facing severe power outages since it seceded from Sudan in 2011 and most businesses there rely on costly diesel generators. The country used to import fuel from refineries in Sudan with local currency for its 15 MW generators, but now has to use hard currency for such imports, according to Athorbe.“We can get fuel for a short time, it may take two to three days, it comes on, and then again there will be no fuel,” he told Reuters.

He says the shutdown disrupted projects which were about to secure funding because lenders declined to advance project funding until crude flows from the country resume. Delayed projects included a deal to build US$300 million worth of power lines over three years to tap into Ethiopia’s national grid, which China had been supposed to fund.