Fossil-fuelled and hydro power generating capacity will be added to Sudan’s national grid, as project construction gets underway in the country.

The largest of these projects are the proposed Merowe and Kajbar hydroelectric facilities in northern Sudan. The 1250MW Merowe facility is to be located 250 miles north of Khartoum at the Nile river’s fourth cataract. Construction is to begin this year, with completion scheduled for July 2008. In December 2003, the French power firm, Alstom agreed to a US$300 million contract to construct the hydro project, while Harbin Power of China signed an agreement to build seven substations and around 1609km of transmission lines.

In 2002, the Merowe project received major funding commitments from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Arab investors, each of whom pledged loans of $15 million or more.

The Kajbar dam, located at the Nile’s second cataract, is currently under construction, and will have a 300MW capacity. An agreement to finance the project was signed between Sudan and China in September 1997. Under terms of the agreement, China is financing 75% of the project (approximately US$200M) and Sudan is to provide the remaining 25%.