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South Sudan plans to revive Fula Dam to boost energy efficiency

The government of South Sudan is currently exploring the possibility of revitalizing the Fula Dam project, with the aim of enhancing energy efficiency and expanding access to electricity for a greater number of consumers.

Tom Remis, the undersecretary in the Ministry of Energy and Dams, emphasized the importance of this project during the national economic conference held in Juba.

South Sudan plans to revive Fula Dam to boost energy efficiency
Fula Rapids, South Sudan | Photo: Jørn Stave, Multiconsult

Remis stated that the Grand Fula Hydropower Project is highly recommended as the top energy priority for the socio-economic development of the people of South Sudan. He emphasized the need for energy to be prioritized in the country’s recovery program, as it is critical for stability and development.

The government aims to invite potential investors to develop the Grand Fula hydropower project as its top energy priority project for electricity distribution throughout the country. This project is seen as a significant opportunity to enhance the country’s energy capacity and meet the growing demand for electricity.

Furthermore, the government acknowledges the importance of developing the institutional capacity for the energy sector in South Sudan. This includes improving the skills and expertise of professionals working in the field, as well as establishing effective policies and regulations to govern the energy sector.

Last year, the South Sudan government signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ethiopian government to import hydroelectric power. Initially, 100 megawatts of electricity will be imported, with plans to gradually expand imports to 400 megawatts. This agreement not only satisfies the electricity demand in South Sudan but also provides a source of revenue for Ethiopia.

The Ministry of Energy and Dams is currently facing challenges in hydroelectric power generation that require immediate attention. Despite completing the power from Uganda, contractors are demanding payment from the government.

South Sudan plans to revive Fula Dam to boost energy efficiency
Fulla Dam project in South Sudan.

However, the government has already paid $20 million and will finalize the payment in December. Although South Sudan has deals in hydroelectric power, the country still relies on generators as the main source of power. The feasibility studies for hydroelectric power were completed in 2009, but the government needs to pay $12 million to own the documents.

Recently, the Ministry of Energy and Dams and the Uganda Government entered into a power sales agreement (PSA) with South Sudan Electricity Corporation for trade in electricity between the two countries. Both countries will work together to construct the 400 kV, 308-km Olwiyo-Juba Power Interconnection Project to enable power trade.

Mr Remis, the undersecretary, called for more budgetary allocation to enable the ministry to fast-track the projects of generating hydroelectric power through dam constructions. He emphasized the need for electricity to be prioritized in government policy and called for payment of the installment of over $8 million to embark on the construction of dams. Without studies, the development of hydropower plants cannot be achieved.

The revival of the Fula Dam project is seen as a significant step towards achieving energy efficiency and improving the quality of life for the people of South Sudan. With the increased availability of electricity, more individuals and businesses will have access to power, allowing for economic growth and development.

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