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Power Generation Crisis

Osman Mirghani

According to the Minister of Energy Eng. Jadain Ali Obied in his press conference, the total electricity power which is supposed to be generated in Sudan should be 4000 megawatts from hydroelectric and thermal generation, while the actual production doesn’t exceed 1800 megawatts with a deficit of more than 55%.

This is a dangerous status as it affects all the economic production entities; let alone what it does to the health and educational services etc.

The Minister expected that power generation will increase to reach 2200 megawatts, a matter that contributes to some extent in reducing the daily programmed blackout hours.

He justified the status-quo to its link with plan (B) in the GERD debacle as Sudan is endeavoring to bridge the gap on Nile waters within suitable time, that and also the shortages in the required fuel to operate the thermal stations.

Now let us use simple calculation in this issue, starting with a major question. When did the power supply crisis start? I personally recall when we were teenagers during the era of former President Gaafar Numeiri; the power blackouts would last for days in some cases.

Then came the third coalition rule from 1985 up to 1989, and the crisis of the power supply was standstill.

Mubarak Al-Fadil told me that when the electricity crisis had escalated, he was selected to become the Minister of Energy to resolve the crisis; Then, after his first day visit to the head office of the National Electricity Corporation, he returned to his house and the first decision he took was to buy a standby generator for his residence! He saw, with his own, eyes the size of the calamity!

Then came the Salvation regime and the crisis became more dreary.

It is true that the situation improved during the era of Eng. Makkawi Mohammed Awad, who managed to lead a considerable leap in power generation; but the situation deteriorated again due to the increase of demand and the decline of power supply til we reached the current crisis.

This is what we call the failure syndrome in the Sudanese state that is inclusive of all sectors from food, medicine, water, health, education, public transport to sports, culture, arts and entertainment.

Nobody can assume that providing fuel and spare parts can resolve the crisis.

It is high time for PM Hamadok to announce the formation of a crisis management administration to confront all the crises facing the country.

As for electricity – as an example – Sudan can prepare a study for the Paris Investment Conference, which should include an ambitious  strategic plan to deal with the power supply issue; not just for providing it, but also to reduce its cost in order to attract foreign investments.

We can exceed additional 10 thousand megawatts before the end of the transitional period through good planning programming and not programming blackouts!

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