In a notice addressed to Hon. Peter Marcello Nasir Jelenge, the South Sudanese Minister of Energy and Dams on 31 March 2021, Ezra Construction and Development Group (ECDG) said that the Juba power plant in the country would be totally shut down if the government will not have made payment as set out in the Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) signed on 16 August 2017.
Founded in October 1986 in Ethiopia, ECDG, which is mainly involved in the Construction Industry, Transport, General Trading, and Supplies, built and is operating the power plant for the national grid of South Sudan.
In the statement, the company noted that it made an extensive investment by the end of 2019 to make available over 230,000,000 kWh by the end of last year, of which 64,000,000 kWh or it’s thereabouts was consumed in that year alone by over 20,000 customers marking a successful inaugural year.
Government’s failure to convert SSP received by JEDCO into US$ to pay ECDG for the electricity it generates
As per the notice, ECDG produces bulk energy supplied to Juba Electric Distribution Company (JEDCO), which in turn distributes electricity to customers in Juba, who pay in South Sudanese Pounds (SSP).
The North African country’s government, through both the Ministry of Energy and Dams and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, is contractually obliged to convert the SSP received by JEDCO into US Dollars to pay ECDG for the electricity it generates.
“In spite of ensuring the collection of electricity tariff which is made in SSP through our joint efforts in JEDCO from customers, payments due to ECDG as per the contract signed in August 2017 have not been made on time despite numerous attempts to address the situation,” read the notice partly.