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South Sudan seeking to revive power sector


February 1, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan has embarked on power sector development in a bid to transform its electricity market as part of efforts to increase access to electricity across the country.

The move, officials say, will involve the implementation of the South Sudan Electricity Master Plan to expand power distribution systems.

South Sudan reportedly facing a deficit of approximately 170 MW, one of the nations with the lowest electricity access rates globally.

According to state-owned utility South Sudan Electricity Corporation (SSEC), over 90% of the population lacks access to the national grid. As a result, an estimated 70% of businesses in the country reportedly rely on diesel-powered generators to operate.

The world’s youngest nation is targeting the rehabilitation of the national grid through infrastructure replacement, grid maintenance and expansion, according to an official from SSEC.

“Our plan is to cover everybody in the whole city with grid power,” Jacob M. Deng, SSEC’s Director of Planning and Projects was quoted saying.

“I hope that Juba will be liberated from this darkness,” he added.

In November 2019, South Sudan launched a newly built 100 MW power plant to supply electricity to the capital and surrounding area. Developed by the Ezra Group of Companies, the power plant will be implemented in four phases – 20 MW expected in the first phase, 30 MW in the second phase, 20 MW in the third phase and 30 MW in the fourth phase.

According to Deng, the country is also turning to renewables to expand power generation capacity. Early last year, SSEC completed technical evaluations for a 20 MW solar farm and 35 MWh battery storage system planned outside the capital, Juba.

Financed by the African Export-Import Bank, the solar farm will offset domestic power deficiencies by providing a sustainable source of clean energy.

In addition, the land-locked East African country is also turning to hydropower developments to expand its electricity market. With a proposed 120 MW hydropower project near Juba, the country is actively looking for investors to aid in the development of hydro resources, as well as has launched a call for consultants to assist in crafting the nation’s renewable energy development program.


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