Bentiu refinery to relieve S. Sudan power woes

Bentiu refinery to relieve S. Sudan power woes
Bentiu local oil refinery site. [Photo: courtesy]

The Managing Director of Nile Petroleum Corporation, Chol Deng Thon, has said the Bentiu Oil Refinery is functional, but it is only affected by poor roads, hampering the supply of fuel for local consumption.

Chol made the statement last week during his briefing to the committee on petroleum at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA). The committee had demanded an update on the activities of the company.

However, Chol did not disclose how many barrels of refined oil are produced each day.

He said the seasonal rain had made it difficult for the corporation to deliver the refined products to locations in Juba and other parts of the country.

He added that refined products like diesel are being used by GPOC- one of the oil companies operating in Unity State and Ruweng Administrative Area.

Triggering local production

He revealed that the ‘‘heavy fuel’’ has only found its route to Sudan, but they are working hard to deliver it to Juba instead of exporting it to Sudan.

Chol said the heavy fuel if transported to Juba, could be useful for power generation to reduce the cost of power production.

He stressed that the Nilepet and the ministries of transport, roads, and bridges are reconsidering using river transport during the rainy season.

“We plan to deliver fuel to Juba so that the Ezra power plant can be operational, and that can significantly reduce the cost of units for electricity; and maybe it can cut it by half when we use heavy fuel, which is produced locally here as opposed to receiving it or importing it from the Gulf States,” Chol explained.

“The refinery is currently up and running. We are currently working with the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Road to make the road passable so that fuel can be delivered to greater Bahr el Ghazal and also greater Equatoria, and we will use the River Nile to deliver heavy fuel to Juba.”

Last year, the former Managing Director of Nile Petroleum Cooperation (NilePet) said the devastating floods had hampered the construction of a road connecting to an oil refinery in Unity State.

Several factors have impaired the smooth progress on road-building between the oil field and the fuel refinery, the former NilePet Managing Director Eng. Bol Ring Muorwel, revealed when he visited the site in Unity State to examine the local refinery last year.

Ring underlined the importance of having a local refinery, saying it would reduce reliance on petroleum imports from neighbouring countries.

“Fuel scarcity will be something of the past if the local refinery officially starts operating as the fuel supply centre in South Sudan,” said Ring.