Arab fund finances heightening 280-MW Roseires Dam

The Arab Fund for Economic Development has approved a US$200 million loan to Sudan to increase the height of the 280-MW Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile in southern Sudan.

Officials of the Arab fund and Sudan’s Ministry of Finance and National Economy signed the loan agreement January 6, Sudan News Agency reported.

Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Kamal Ali Mohammed emphasized the importance of increasing the dam height to improve socio-economic development by making available an extra reserve of 4 billion cubic meters of water. The minister said the project will help promote agricultural development on the banks of the Blue Nile and the Nile, expand the growing of wheat, and increase production of hydroelectric power.

Sudan has conducted major work on Roseires in recent years, commissioning VA Tech Hydro to rehabilitate turbine-generator and governor equipment.

Eighty percent completion of 1,250-MW Merowe

In December, ministry officials announced the completion of 1,250-MW Merowe Dam now exceeds 80 percent, Sudan News Agency said. Executive Director Usama Abdalla of the Dams Implementation Unit predicted the project would begin generating power in 2008.

Merowe contractor SinoHydro Corp. of China reported Sudanese officials met December 30 in Chengdu, China, with SinoHydro General Manager Fan Jixiang on Merowe’s progress. Fan said Merowe is the biggest water and electricity project in Sudan and SinoHydro’s biggest current overseas project.

SinoHydro said Sudan officials urged acceleration of construction, guaranteeing that two turbine-generator sets are operating by October 31. Fan said SinoHydro would establish a leading group to supervise and coordinate project advancement.

The nine-kilometer-long Merowe Dam on the Nile River is to have ten 125-MW turbine-generators, eventually increasing the vast African nation’s electricity supply by 150 percent. (HNN 8/30/07)

The US$2 billion project employs 5,000 people. Involved in the project are Chinese, French, and German companies, with the bulk of the funds coming from Arab countries in the form of soft loans and grants.

Chinese consortium CCMD is carrying out the bulk of the work on the dam. China International Water &Electric Corp. and China National Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Corp. won a 555 million euro (US$648 million) contract to build the project. Two Chinese firms also won a contract worth US$66 million for hydro-mechanical works.

Sudan’s Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources awarded a contract worth 250 million euros (US$293 million) to Alstom of France to supply electro-mechanical equipment. A US$400 million contract was awarded to Harbin Power Engineering Co. of China to construct transmission lines and substations.

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