Juba returns to ancient darkness as JEDCO begins load-shedding

South Sudan’s capital, Juba is being affected as the nation’s power utility company, JEDCO, has begun load-shedding in certain areas, leaving residents in sombre moods. Earlier this week, the company announced that due to the ongoing shortage of hard currency in the country, JEDCO would have no choice but to conduct a rotating outage in Juba.

“Dear Valued Customers, JEDCO management has been informed by Ezra Construction & Development Group, that because of a lack of foreign currency and lack of commitment from other stakeholders, the power plant is in a critical state and cannot supply power at full capacity as usual. Consequently, JEDCO will be forced to start shedding power starting from midnight, 6 April 2021, until further notice. The affected areas with their respective power outage times are presented in the below table.”

“We once again sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and humbly request your patience and understanding. We’d like to further reassure our customers that JEDCO is working urgently with all the stakeholders to resolve the problem and resume regular services to our esteemed customers.”

On the same development, the African Development Bank distanced itself from the unilateral decision taken by JEDCO and its partner companies, saying that they are no longer responsible for the maintenance, distribution and operation of the electricity.

“This statement is to inform the general public that the African Development Bank Group is not involved in any decision-making regarding power shedding in Juba, South Sudan’s capital city. The African Development Bank Group wishes to clarify that the Bank has played no direct role in power generation in Juba and is not involved in any matters concerning the operation and maintenance of the electricity distribution networks in South Sudan.”

“The Bank funded the USD 38 million expansion and rehabilitation of the electricity distribution network in Juba. The project was primarily financed through a grant. It was implemented by the South Sudan Electricity Corporation, which is the power utility created by the Government.”

“The Corporation falls under South Sudan’s Ministry of Energy and Dams. On being commissioned in 2019, the African Development Bank-funded project significantly helped to restore electricity supply in the central business district. It has brought electricity to Juba homes, businesses, educational institutions and hospitals.”

Ezra announces power outage over fuel shortages in Juba

Due to a lack of operational resources, the country’s public utility company, the Ezra Group, has announced a complete blackout in the capital, Juba, from Tuesday until further notice.

“Ezra Construction and Development Group (ECDG) is hereby writing to your office to notify you that the EZRA power plant is due to shut-down on 12th January 2021,” the utility firm notified members of the public on Sunday.

The company explained that it had informed the relevant authorities of the possibility of power outages, as the electricity was running on low fuel, but their advice fell on deaf ears.

“In reference to several communications with the different stake holders and lastly a letter dated 05th January 2021 addressed to the Hon Minister of Energy and Dams in which you were provided a copy, we stated that we were experiencing a low-run of fuel which would allow plant operation for utmost 5 days,” the company said.

Ezra regrets that had the Ministry of Energy and Dams acted in timely manner, the power outages would have been avoided.

“It is unfortunate that there has been no action taken to deter the above occurrences and therefore the Plant will shut down effective the above stated date until further notice. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.”