145 new transformers light up Juba
South Sudan, Juba: The African Development Bank’s $38 M Juba Power Distribution System Rehabilitation and Expansion Project is almost completed, according to a release by the bank.
The project, due to be completed at the end of 2020, will consist of a 145 km medium voltage distribution line, a 250 km low voltage distribution line, and the installation of 145 new transformers. At least a total of 20,000 domestic and commercial consumers will be connected, with access to five new customer service centres.
Juba, the capital of South Sudan, hasn’t had a stable and reliable electricity supply since South Sudan’s independence in 2011 and has always suffered from regular blackouts.
“Our company used to rely on a 1,500 kVA generator and spent an average of $75 a day on diesel. We bought 45,000 litres of diesel monthly, says Araya Hizkias, the owner of the Juba-based Aquana Water Company. “Now we rely on public electricity brought to us by this new network. We don’t experience random damages to our machines anymore and things are working easier. We are making more savings and expanding production.”
The network was partially commissioned by the Bank and the South Sudan government in November 2019. The installation has helped to restore electricity supply in the Central Business District of Juba. Street lamps light up most thoroughfares to ease the movement of traffic and pedestrians and help prevent crime.
The distribution project has lit up government offices, hotels, and factories and helped to power public services such as water, health and educational institutions. It has also improved security because many businesses now stay open till late as a result of improved security.
“It was an embarrassment for Juba, the seat of government, not to have reliable electricity. Juba was once referred to as the city of darkness. This project has changed that and given the city a facelift. The network is reaching the common people, and it has improved small businesses and rejuvenated commercial activities,” said Jacob Deng, Director General, Planning and Projects at the South Sudan Electricity Corporation.
Source: ESI Africa