News South Sudan

Power deficits push the government to seek foreign investors

March 2, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — The South Sudan Electricity Corporation (SSEC) has revealed that 90 percent of the country’s population do not have access to the national power grid. 

South Sudan's new Juba power plant(Photo credit: supplied/Nyamilepedia)
South Sudan’s new Juba power plant(Photo credit: supplied/Nyamilepedia)

This is in spite of the fact that the country in 2019 launched a newly built 100MW plant to supply power to Juba and its environs. 

According to the corporation 70 percent of businesses rely solely on diesel-powered generators and thus significantly limiting output.

“The primary challenge facing the power sector is the lack of quality infrastructure needed for electricity generation, transmission and distribution,” said SSEC in a status update of power sector revival efforts.

The director of planning and projects, Mr. Jacob Deng noted that financial constraints were the major impediment towards setting up the necessary infrastructure. 

In a bid to illustrate the seriousness of the issue he singled out the proposed 120MW project near Juba as the perfect example. 

This particular proposed project is projected to cost a whopping 490 million dollars and is to be done within a five-year time window.

Mr. Deng while addressing the government’s plan to deal with the financial gaps flaunted the idea of the involvement of foreign investors. 

“Financing gaps represent a high-impact opportunity for foreign direct investment, while local capacity limitations provide the opportunity for knowledge and skills transfer,” explained the director.

He further pointed out that South Sudan was uniquely positioned to attract investors to build the power sector from the ground up.

 Mr. Deng said that the efforts to enhance access to reliable electricity in Juba is already underway. This is in consideration of the prioritizing of the development of the energy infrastructure across the young nation.

According to the SSEC director, the corporation had recognized the need to build solar farms and other renewable projects in order to compliment the hydroelectric projects.

The idea was to ensure that the hydroelectric project provided the base load whereas the other solar farms and renewable power projects complimented it.

The SSEC has already completed the technical evaluations for a 20MW solar plant and 35MWh battery storage systems near Juba. This is in a desperate attempt to offset the power deficits.     

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