January 10, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – A massive power blackout hit Sudan on Wednesday during a televised address by President Omer al-Bashir from El-Ruseiris County, Blue Nile State.
The outage took TV channels broadcasting al-Bashir’s speech off the air.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the electricity outage but the National Centre for Controlling the Electricity Grid (NCCEG) said the “grid has been completely shut down”.
“Work is underway to connect the power plants and electricity will be gradually restored across the country,” said the NCCEG in a short statement Wednesday
Sudan has long suffered from power outages, most recently in February last year when the majority of Sudan’s cities were cut from the grid due to a failure of the automated protection system.
Also, nationwide blackouts occurred in July 2009 and May 2015.
Thermal generation makes up to 50% of Sudan’s electricity production while electricity produced by Merowe and El-Ruseiris dams amounts to 3050 megawatts.
The upper Atbara and Setit dam which was inaugurated last year is expected to produce 320 megawatts.
In December 2014, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said that Sudan will face a problem in electricity production in the future if it does not develop alternative projects due to decreased rainfall and increased consumption.
According to the UN, 35% of Sudan’s population has access to electricity while more than 25 million people are not yet been connected to the national electricity grid.