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Sudan's electrical power sector has been subject to poor infrastructure and experiences frequent power outages. At present the country’s electricity generating capacity consists of about 760 megawatts of thermal power, about 320 megawatts of hydropower capacity, and total electricity generation is around 4.3 billion kilowatt hours. About 70% of the electricity is consumed in the Khartoum area. Rural areas are without access to electricity, except for some large, export-oriented agricultural schemes.

Electrical power is transmitted through two interconnected electrical grids, the Blue Nile Grid and the Western grid, which encompasses a small portion of the country. Regions in Sudan that are not covered by the grid rely on small diesel-fired generators for power. Only 30% of Sudan’s population currently has access to electricity, the government hopes to increase that figure to 90% in the near future.

Civil war in the country has curtailed foreign investment in the Sudanese power sector, but it is expected to increase with the cessation of the civil conflict. In June 2004 the United Arab Emirates (UAE) pledged to invest in the Sudanese power sector following the signing of a peace accord. In January 2006, the Export/Import Bank of India extended US$350 million of credit to the country for the construction of a 500-MW power plant.

Sudan’s power utility is the state-owned National Electricity Corporation of Sudan (NEC). Two electric power stations have been inaugurated in June 2004 and they are estimated to have a combined capacity of 330 MW. These two facilities participate in the supply of power. The El Jaili Power project is a power plant that has been constructed by the National NEC in the vicinity of Khartoum. El-Jaili combined cycle power station also known as Plant 1. The Dit Kilo X power station is powered by diesel and has a working capacity of a 257 MW. The project consisted of 7 diesel units that were interconnected at the existing Kilo X substation where bays for injection of 110 KV have been made available. It was Sudan's first Independent Power Production (IPP) project that was completed in 2004. There also exist the 300-MW Kajbar hydroelectric facilities in northern Sudan.

Sudan Electricity Utilities

  • National Electricity Corporation of Sudan (NEC): is a state-owned utility involved in generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power in Sudan.

Plans & Projects

  • Egypt will give the Government of South Sudan US$300 million for water and electricity projects as it seeks to build good will among countries along the Nile, the source of almost all of its water, Reuters reported on Sunday. The grant will be used for building potable water complexes, drilling 30 wells for underground water, setting up river ports and upgrading electricity and water networks.
  • Jordan and Sudan have launched solar projects in June 2010, drawing them into the growing club of developing countries in the Middle Eastern and African sun belts seeking to harvest one of their most bountiful natural resources. One of Sudan's biggest needs is to ensure that all parts of the country have access to electricity, regardless of their proximity to oil and gas resources. Construction of the US$400 million Shams Maan project is slated to begin in 2011.

    In Sudan, the former Darfur rebel leader Minni Minnawi and France's Solar Euromed have signed a contract for the construction of three solar plants in the Darfur region of western Sudan, representing the first stage of a €1.25 billion agreement with Khartoum to build solar plants across the country. The broader agreement calls for the development, and construction and operation of an ambitious 20,000mw of solar power capacity in Sudan over the next decade. The Darfur plants, with a combined generating capacity of 250mw, are expected to start producing electricity in 2013-14.

  • The government has been developing the country’s hydropower potential by installing 30 megawatts of power at the Jebel Aulia irrigation project, and it has planned to add 50 megawatts to the capacity of the Sennar dam. The government also has significant expansion plans in the thermal power sector. The increased power that is generated will at the very least be used for export. A transmission link between Ethiopia and Sudan has been in place since 1996, a development initiative known as the Nile Basin Initiative has identified building an Ethiopia-Sudan interconnection as a fast-track project of its Eastern Nile Subsidiary Action Programme.
    • Jebel Aulia Dam project is located south-west of Khartoum, about 50km away. This is the first time that a decision has been made to make use of the dam for hydroelectric power. The project entails the design and construction of 80 turbines. Each two turbines are a matrix that will be constructed at one dam gate. Turbine output is 380 KW. The total capacity will be 80 x 380 kilowatts.
  • The Roseires Dam project is located on the Blue Nile about 500km south-east of the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. The 280-MW hydroelectric power plant is located at the dam and is estimated to supply nearly half of Sudan’s power output, though generation varies greatly throughout the year with changing river flows.
  • The Merowe Dam project is a multipurpose scheme for hydropower generation. It is the largest project to be undertaken in the electrical power sector. The project was previously called Hamadab Project but was later renamed the Merowe Project. Its basic function is to generate hydropower hydropower with an installed capacity of 1,250 megawatts. The project is expected to be completed between 2007 and 2009.
  • The $400-million contract to install transmission lines for the project has been put in place at the end of 2003. The Government of China had provided 85 percent of the funding, while the Government of Sudan has yet to provide the remaining percent.
  • The contract stipulates the building of two 500kv parallel transmission lines from the Power Plant to Khartoum with a distance of 350km for each line, with two 500/200kv sub-stations in Omdurman and Khartoum North, connected with a 38km line of 500kv. A third 240km long transmission line will be extended to Atbra, with a voltage of 500kv, accompanied with a 500/200kv sub-station in Atbra. A fourth 455km line will stretch from Atbra to Port Sudan, with a voltage of 220kv, and a 220/110kv sub-station in Port Sudan. The fifth 310km line will be extended from Merowe Dam to Dongola. This line has 220kv and three 220/33kv sub-stations in Merowe, Dabba and Dongola. The total distance of the transmission lines stands approximately at 1 745km, and includes 7 sub-stations. The work is expected to be completed in mid-2007. At present there is a double transmission line that transmits electricity from Merowe to Markhiat.
  • The main objectives of the project are to generate electrical power to improve economical and social development in the country; to provide relatively cheap electrical power for the improvement of the irrigation in the country’s agriculture; to use electricity to pump up ground water for use in the agricultural sector; and to implement industrial projects, food industry projects, and mining projects that are reliant upon electrical power.
  • A project involving the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the fourth cataract of the Nile, is currently underway. It is the largest of its kind in Africa and it will produce about 1,250 MW, significantly increasing Sudan's electrical power generation. The project is due for completion by 2009.

Key Figures

  • Electricity produced: 4.341 billion KWh (2007)
  • Electricity consumed: 3.438 billion KWh (2007)
  • Electricity Exported: 0 KWh (2008)
  • Electricity Imported: 0 KWh (2008)

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