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Looming Power Blackout in Juba

By John Agok

The  Juba Electricity Distribution Company (JEDCO) yesterday issued a circular calling on their esteem customers to bear patience as they are scheduling the partial power distribution due to lack of resources. 

The circular dated 5th April 2021 headed ‘urgent notice of Electricity Power Shedding in Juba.’ This is to inform our dear customers that JEDCO management has been informed by the Ezra Construction and Development Group that because of a lack of resources and commitment from stakeholders, the power plant is in a critical state and cannot supply power.

JEDCO management will start shedding power from 6th April, 2021 until a complete power shutdown. We are now forced to start partially shedding from the Juba Distribution Network until further notice. The affected areas will be announced by April 6th 2021.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and humbly request your patience and understanding,” the statement read.

In an updated report, the Ezra Construction and Development Group in South Sudan has announced it will no longer cut off electricity supply to Juba and surrounding areas, despite previous warnings of discontinuing operations of its 100MW power plant from January 12 due to lack of operational resources.

According to the signed power purchase agreement with the Government, Ezra Group relies on a foreign currency allocation – distributed to Juba Electricity Distribution Company (JEDCO) in exchange for the supply of 33 MW of power – the lack of which caused the near blackout.

However, after an appeal by the Deputy Minister of Finance to JEDCO and the involvement of the Central Bank of South Sudan, the company earlier announced that no blackouts would occur.

“The Government of the Republic of South Sudan has intervened – and all stakeholders are now urgently working together to make sure this drastic action never happens again,” stated JEDCO. “Following this latest intervention, JEDCO will not disrupt any of its services and will continue to provide all customers with a safe and reliable electricity supply. The Government, Ezra Group, and JEDCO assure all the citizens of South Sudan that they are dedicated to helping develop the country to benefit all who live here.”

The Ministry of Finance and JEDCO came into an agreement by ejecting millions of Dollars to ease the exchange rate of the company. This move was embraced with high hopes for customers to have to confide in the company commitment of not bringing back power blackout.

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