Sudan: Energy Resources
From Open Energy Information
|Energy Consumption||0.19 Quadrillion Btu|
|2-letter ISO code||SD|
|3-letter ISO code||SDN|
|Numeric ISO code||736|
|UN Region||Northern Africa|
|CIA World Factbook, Appendix D|
|Wind Potential||0||Area(km²) Class 3-7 Wind at 50m||183||1990||NREL|
|Coal Reserves||Unavailable||Million Short Tons||N/A||2008||EIA|
|Natural Gas Reserves||84,950,000,000||Cubic Meters (cu m)||56||2010||CIA World Factbook|
|Oil Reserves||6,800,000,000||Barrels (bbl)||20||2010||CIA World Factbook|
Energy Maps featuring Sudan
No Maps For This Location
Policy and Regulatory Overview 
The national electrification rate in 2009 stood at 35.9%. Approximately 27.1 million people lack access to electricity in the country. Urban electrification in 2009 stood at roughly 52%, with rural electrification at 28%.
The National Electricity Corporation, the national electricity utility, transmits electricity through two interconnected electrical grids, the Blue Nile Grid and the Western Grid, which cover only a small portion of the country. Regions not covered by the grid often rely on small diesel-fired generators for power. Transmission in the country operates at 300 kV, 220 kV and 110 kV, and distribution networks operate at 33 kV, 11 kV and 415 V.
Final commissioning of the 1,250 MW Merowe Dam project was achieved in 2009. Agreements were signed in 2008 to expand capacity in the Elroseris Dam. These dams will increase the generation of electricity; and will also expand irrigated agriculture in the Gezira and Rahad Schemes and in the River Nile State in the North. An additional 905 MW of conventional thermal capacity is also under construction, consisting of the steam plants at Alfula and Kosti, expected to be commissioned in 2013 and 2012 respectively. A further 600 MW of coal-fired capacity is awaiting contract signatures, for construction near the Red Sea. Finally, work is underway to raise the 280 MW Roseires Dam, with completion of the project slated for 2013. The modifications will double the generating capacity of the dam, increasing its reservoir size to 7.3 billion cubic metres from 3 billion, and also double the capacity of the 15 MW Sennar Dam on the Blue Nile as a result.
In 2009, authorities secured a US$ 93 million loan from the Saudi Development Fund for the White Nile sugar project and for the heightening of the Roseires Dam, aiming to double its electricity generating capacity. Also, the Kuwait Fund For Arab Economic Development agreed to lend USD$ 52 million for the same dam project, while earlier the Saudi Development Fund contributed loans and grants amounting to USD$ 150 million to the Merowe Dam project.
Developments are currently under-way to inter-connect the power grids of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, in an effort to promote cooperation and trade in the region. Arrangements for Sudan to import power from Ethiopia were fully completed in February 2012, and the country is set to import 100 MW from Ethiopia via two transmission lines (of 230 and 296 km) running from Bahir-Da and Metema in Ethiopia to Gedaref near the border in Sudan. The project is also set to reduce the country’s carbon emissions, allowing it to replace thermal generation with Ethiopian hydropower.
The government in Khartoum has announced plans to raise the country's electrification level from an estimated 30% to about 90% in the mid-term. Large investments into the medium and low voltage distribution grids will be necessary, but not sufficient to reach this ambitious goal within the government's allocated time limit. For example, the foreseeable increase in power consumption would require new generating capacity. Significant capacity additions have been made in recent years (1,980 MW from 2003-2011), however, the government’s current target of 3,383 MW of total capacity by 2016 is still appearing overly ambitious.
The country has recently put into place a comprehensive policy on sustainable charcoal production, enabling exports of charcoal made from an invasive tree species.
Considerable diplomatic conflict has arisen since the declaration of independence of South Sudan in 2011 over the continued interdependence of the two countries’ oil infrastructures. The CPA did not set guidelines on post-independence oil sharing mechanisms or transit fees, and South Sudan suspended oil production in January 2012, following disagreements over the exceptionally high transit fees imposed by the Khartoum government (US$ 32-36 per barrel, compared to the international average of US$ 1), and the non-release of considerable Southern crude, held in the North for transfer to the international market. Southern officials say that the North has misappropriated approximately US$ 815 million of oil revenues since independence. The diplomatic disagreement is ongoing.
Total installed electricity capacity (2009): 2,542.6 MW
Steam Turbine: 17.5%
Combined Cycle: 16.1%
Gas Turbine: 2.3%
Total primary energy supply (2009): 15,815 ktoe
Crude Oil: 33.5%
Oil Product Exports: -3.2%
The high proportion of biomass is due to a large population, located in rural areas with little or no access to the electricity grid, which relies heavily on biomass to meet heating and cooking needs.
Oil plays a major role in the Sudanese economy. In 2008, according to the IMF, oil represented 95% of export revenues and 60% of government revenues. After the declaration of independence of South Sudan in 2011, significant proportions of the country’s oil reserves have been transferred out of the control of the Khartoum government. In 2009, there were announcements of natural gas discoveries in Sudan, but these have yet to be determined commercially viable.
Total electricity generation in 2009 was 6,800 GWh, of which renewable resources accounted for 3,288 GWh (47.8%).
The Ministry of Energy is composed of several institutions which are responsible for formulating and reviewing processes and plans to incorporate views of energy suppliers, i.e. market actors and representatives of consumers, in addressing the complex nature of the sector.
The Electricity Law 2000 offered the possibility of private sector investment in electricity generation, transportation or distribution. Through the Investment Law of 2001, private and foreign investments have been encouraged, resulting in the construction of new thermal plants with Chinese and Malaysian financing. However, there is little competition in the electricity sector. Each of the five state-owned entities in the electricity sector has a practical monopoly on its sector. There are a few privately owned diesel-powered generators that provide electricity in regions outside the coverage of the national grid.
The liquid fuels market is vertically integrated. Exploration and production are regulated by the Sudan National Petroleum Corporation with involvement from foreign companies. There are various companies involved in distribution and marketing of petroleum products in the country including Agip, Exxonmobil, Shell and Nile Petroleum, the South Sudanese national company.
Measures are being taken to ensure that existing hydro facilities are protected from the extreme climate which results in silt build up, reducing their generation capacities. 70% of electricity generated in the country is consumed in the Khartoum area. Total primary energy supply per capita in 2009 stood at 0.37 toe. As is the case in many developing nations with a large rural population, the residential sector contributes most to final energy demand, due to the large amounts of fuel-wood used for basic energy needs. Given the high level of biomass use, there is a significant potential for the introduction of energy-efficient cooking stoves, as has been identified by some donor organisations.
The power sector in the country is subject to poor infrastructure and frequent outages. More than 70 % of the population live in rural and isolated communities with limited economic activities.
The current electricity distribution reflects that most of the Sudanese rural communities are not connected to the national grid system, and are also by-passed by the petroleum supply pipelines, and thus rely mainly on biomass. Many villages connect small generators to the ubiquitous diesel-powered irrigation pumps. This way of generating electricity is inefficient and expensive, and causes environmental problems. Domestic power consumption dominates the market, with approximately 65% of electricity consumption being attributable to the sector. Erratic power supplies (outages stood at 19 days per year on average in 2009) have contributed to a high level of private generator ownership, particularly in the commercial and industrial sectors. Approximately 41% owned and used private generators in 2009. Transmission and distribution losses in the same year stood at 22%, an average figure for the region, but still high enough to cause constraints on economic efficiency for the national utility.
The Ministry of Science and Technology is involved in scientific research to promote sustainable economic development in the country.
Within the MED, the Dams Implementation Unit (DIU, http://www.diu.gov.sd) acts as the governmental body in project management for the country’s hydropower projects.
The Energy Research Institute (ERI) undertakes renewable energy research and development programs as well as pilot project implementation.
The Forestry Research Institute is involved in biomass energy technologies.
Khartoum University and the University of Science and Technology have both undertaken research on renewables.
Energy regulation role
No government department, other than the Ministry of Energy and Mines, takes an active role in energy regulation.
The former national power utility, the National Electricity Corporation of Sudan (NEC, www.members.multimania.co.uk/necsudan), was unbundled in 2010 into five separate companies:
The Merowe Dam Electricity Company Ltd.,
The Sudanese Hydropower Generation Company Ltd. (http://shgc-sd.com/),
The Sudanese Thermal Power Generation Company Ltd. (http://stpgc.com/en),
The Sudanese Transmission Lines Company Ltd., and
The Sudanese Electricity Distribution Company Ltd.
These five utilities are responsible for their titular sectors. The government wholly owns the utilities. Regions not covered by the national grid rely on privately owned small diesel-fired generators.
Liquid fuels market
Foreign investors dominate Sudan’s oil industry. They are led by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Malaysia's Petronas. These companies hold the largest stakes in the leading consortia operating in both countries: the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), Petrodar, and the White Nile Petroleum Operating Company (WNPOC). The Sudanese National Petroleum Corporation (Sudapet, www.spc.sd), remains a minority shareholder in joint ventures with foreign oil companies because of its limited technical expertise and financial resources. The Corporation also acts as a regulator for the industry.
Degree of independence
All of the regulatory bodies in the country are wholly owned by the state.
The government formulated a 10-year strategic plan for the period 1992-2003, which set overall goals for economic development. This plan included the supportive role of the power sector in achieving these goals.
Sudan is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and is also a member of the East African Power Pool (http://www.eappool.org/), a regional organisation created to promote integration of electricity networks, to improve energy security and increase energy access in all member states.
National Strategic Plan for Sudan
The National Strategic Plan for Sudan – the first since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) – provides a framework for the country’s peace and development efforts between 2007 and 2011. It gives priority to the construction of electricity distribution networks and rural electrification projects to promote sustainable economic development, as well as capacity building within institutions.
The Sudan Renewable Energy Master Plan was drafted in 2005 in an effort to promote the use of renewable energy sources, including priority projects such as PV installations and biomass co-generation, so as to avoid technological dependence on an oil-based market in energy sector development. Funding allocations for the program total approximately US$ 9.1 million, half-funded by bilateral/multilateral donors through grants or soft loans. Of this, US$ 4.25 million is allocated for the promotion of solar PV and SWH in the short term, with a further US$ 1.05 million for wind pumping. The medium-term plan to 2015 is estimated to require US$ 15 million of funding and targets a wide range of renewable options, including small-hydro power for rural mini-grids, development of the country’s geothermal resources, and modern and improved bio-energy options.
Government priorities in the renewables sector include:
Reducing unsustainable biomass use,
Increasing wind energy use for rural on- and off-grid electrification, as well as in water pumping and agriculture,
Increasing the dissemination of community-scale PV projects,
Assessment of the geothermal and small-hydro potentials of the country, and the identification of priority projects.
Sudan is an oil producing country, largely self sufficient and able to export refined as well as crude petroleum products. Total petroleum exports in 2009 were 19,507 ktoe. However, Sudan still needs to import jet fuel. The country’s proven oil reserves are 6.614 billion barrels (2008).
Oil exports were estimated at 383,900 bbl/day in 2009, while imports amounted to 11,820 bbl/day in the same year.
Sudan's national electric agency is now able to buy power from Ethiopia, after grid installations were completed in July 2009.
Role of the government
The Ministry of Energy and Mining (MEM) has the responsibility for formulating and implementing the energy policies in the country, as well as promoting and disseminating renewable energy technologies, and conducting energy and environmental studies.
The Ministry of Electricity and Dams (MED) within the MEM is responsible for the management of the electricity sector. The state-owned companies within the electricity sector report directly to the MED.
Sustainable energy falls under the purview of the Ministry of Energy and Mining, which regulates the Sudanese energy sector. The Renewable Energy Master Plan does not detail specific regulatory mechanisms for the promotion of sustainable energy.
The current lack of any form of framework or regulation pertaining to sustainable energy in the country is a barrier to increased uptake. For example, the formation of a clear framework for private-sector actor participation in the energy sector, using renewable energy sources, for example under an IPP structure, would create a more favourable environment for investment in the sector.
Sudan's energy sector has three main regulatory bodies dealing with electricity, petroleum and mining:
Electricity: Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA)
Petroleum: Sudanese Petroleum Cooperation (SPC, www.spc.sd)
Mining: Public Geological Research Authority (PRA)
Average solar insolation in the country is roughly 6.1 kWh/m2/day, indicating a high potential for solar energy use. Total potentials over the course of a year have been estimated at 10.1 GJ/m2. A recent Global Environmental Facility (GEF), UNDP-funded project, utilised PV to electrify 13 rural and peri-urban communities, with some 45,000 households in the country now using PV systems.
Average Wind speeds are estimated at 3-6 m/s; higher speeds have been recorded along the Red Sea coast. Average wind density in Sudan is estimated at 400 W/m2. Wind energy in Sudan is currently used for pumping water from both deep and shallow wells to provide drinking water and irrigation through the use of wind pumps. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in 2010 with the Dubai-based Omene Energy for the construction of 500 MW of wind power capacity along the Red Sea coast in Sudan, in blocks of 100 MW, to be operated under an IPP structure.
There is a vibrant co-generation industry in Sudan, with installed capacity estimated at 55.5 MW in sugar factories, mainly for own use. There are plans to further expand co-generation in sugar production with more advanced plant equipment. In addition, plans are currently being developed to use an agricultural pest, the Mesquite shrub, for household energy production. An estimated 41.4 million hectares of forest resources are present in Sudan, with an allowable cut of approximately 15.1 million cubic metres. In addition, significant potential exists for the utilisation of agricultural residues, particularly crop residues and animal waste. Also, the government plans to add significant bioethanol and biodiesel production capacity in the coming years, in the region of 60 million litres/year and 50 million litres/year respectively.
Geothermal potential is estimated at 400 MW of power generation capacity. Potential geothermal fields have been identified near the Jabel Marra volcano, the Tagbo and Meidob hills, the Bayud volcanic field and the Red Sea coast. Hot spring temperatures in the Red Sea region range from 56ºC to 85 ºC. Two sites of particular interest in the region are the Suakin-1 and Bashayer-1A wells, which both have temperature gradients of over 70ºC. The country is currently collaborating with KenGen, the Kenyan national utility, to further build capacity and assess potentials in the region.
Total potential for hydropower in the country is estimated at 4,860 MW, with an annual production of 24,132 GWh. Small-hydro also offers a significant potential, with more than 200 suitable sites for in-stream turbines existing. Potential small-hydro capacity in 2009 was estimated at 58.68 MW. Recent capacity additions have included the 1,250 MW Merowe dam, commissioned in 2009.
- LBNL-Cookstoves Projects
- Strategies for Adapting to Climate Change in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa
- National Action Programmes on Desertification
- Sudan-National Adaptation Programme of Action
- Sudan-IAEA Cooperation
- view all
- Best Practices and Tools for Large-scale Deployment of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Techniques
- Increasing the Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Through the Use of Environmentally Sound Technologies
0 Energy Organizations
0 Clean Energy Companies
0 Research Institutions