Power black-outs as Sudan ‘defaults on bill’
Large parts of Sudan have experienced power blackouts since Monday. The Turkish company delivering power to the national grid cut-off supplies after the Sudanese government allegedly failed to pay an outstanding bill.
North Darfur Governor Mohamed Arabi said only two machines entered service in El Fasher on Sunday evening. The Governor of South Darfur, Mousa Mahdi, said that the electrical current was completely cut off from the state capital Nyala due to the suspension of the Turkish power plant, which caused complete paralysis in the city and led to many health, security, and economic problems. It also compromised and the availability of water.
He said that he requested the Turkish company to add two additional machines to the service to operate hospitals and water pumps and that the matter would be resolved by the federal government within 72 hours.
He explained that the company’s management was intransigent and rejected his appeal. He called on the Electricity Holding Company, the Thermal Generation Department and the Ministry of Finance to address the matter urgently, warning of the dire consequences of the continued power outage.
Power outages continued as well in Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, for the fifth consecutive day after the supply form the Turkish Karadeniz Powership Rauf Bey*, which is anchored ast Marcha Bashayer in the Red Sea between Port Sudan and Suakin, was cut-off.
Journalist Osman Hashim said that the power cuts have led to the increasing suffering of citizens. He explained that the state government promised to deal with the electricity cuts.
Hashim told Radio Dabanga that power cuts at the Port Sudan Teaching Hospital continued and the hospital’s generators stopped working because of fuel shortages, forcing patients to resort to commercial laboratories and pay expensive fees. He pointed to a shortage of basic and essential medicines in the hospital.
Tokar, in Red Sea state, witnessed a complete blackout for more than a week. Tokar has been suffering from a complete outage of the two communications networks, Zain and MTN, for two months, while the network of the Sudani company remains weak.
People in Tokar demanded the government to intervene urgently and address the problems.
In Abu Dhabi, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday to establish a power plant with a capacity of 500 megawatts of solar energy, whereby the UAE represented by one of its companies adopts the supply, construction, installation and operation of stations for a period of 20 years with training and employment of Sudanese national workers during the period of construction and operation with the commitment of the government of Sudan to purchase the produced electricity at a competitive price throughout the contract period.
The signing of the MoU came during the visit of a Sudanese delegation to the UAE headed by the Minister of Industry and Trade Madani Abbas, and includes the Minister of Finance, Energy and Mining, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan.
The visit also discussed how to benefit from the rest of the grant amount provided by the UAE and the possibility of using it to support wheat, fuel for electricity, cooking gas, and medicine, as well as completing the process of sending school students and agricultural inputs.
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development recently provided support to Sudan in the amount of $556.5 million, which is part of a grant that was donated by the state in the amount of one and a half billion dollars, of which 250 million dollars were supplied as a deposit in the Central Bank of Sudan.
* The Turkish Karadeniz Powership Rauf Bey, started electricity production in Sudan in 2018. The powership, which has 180 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity, to supply 150 MW of power to Sudan’s national energy grid. The plant is important for the stability of the country’s national grid as it caters for the country’s increased energy demand. The company announced on 27 April, 2018 that it signed an electricity production and sales agreement with the Sudanese Thermal Power Generating Company (STPGC).
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