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Sudan hit by power blackout on Saturday

July 12, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — A power cut plunged Sudan into darkness since 7 am local time on Saturday after disconnecting the supply grid, state official agency (SUNA) reported.

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Soldiers stand guard near the new built Merowe Dam in northern Sudan (Reuters)

The acting Director General of the National Electricity Corporation Musa’ed Abdullah Muhammad told SUNA that the blackout was caused by continued loss of electricity supply, which forced them to disconnect Merowe dam electricity supply grid from the national grid.

The Merowe dam inaugurated in March is supposed to double the country’s electricity output producing 250 megawatts of electricity and to reach full capacity by November 2009 by producing 1250 megawatts.

However, Sudan continues to experience power outages despite the Merowe dam entering into production triggering anger amongst residents.

The Sudanese energy minister Al-Zebeir Ahmed Al-Hassan was summoned to the national assembly last April for questioning on the deteriorating electrical supply.

The minister said that demand for electricity surged by 23% and that capacity of the Ruseieris dam by 30%. He added the generated electricity from Merowe dam has been unstable.

SUNA quoted the official as saying that the electricity supply will start to return gradually at 1 p.m. local time and is expected to be fully restored in 80 per cent of the grid covered areas, by 6 p.m.

Musa’ed noted that the Rosaries, Sinnar and Griba stations and that of Shahid Muhammad station are operating satisfactorily and supplying the national electricity grid.

But Sudanese residents speaking to the independent Al-Sahafa newspaper complained that power outages persisted last week for periods as long as 10 hours.

They also said that the power outage is accompanied with water outages as well.

(ST)