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On 21 November 2019 the government of South Sudan commissioned a $38m upgraded power distribution system. The Juba Power Distribution System Rehabilitation and Expansion Project was financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and is the first of several energy sector projects the AfDB is planning in the country.
The upgraded system consists of 145km 33kV medium voltage distribution lines and 250km low voltage lines with 145 new transformers. 20,000 residential and commercial customers were connected to the grid.
"This project will spur development in the country where more than 70% of lighting relies on generators and others on kerosene", said president Salva Kiir at the inauguration of the project.
He added that the government, with funding from the AfDB, aims to install 10-40MW of renewable energy. The government is also exploring the possibility of developing the ambitious 1,080MW Grand Fula hydropower project, which is a priority project for the Ministry of Energy and Dams.
The AfDB has funded 13 projects in South Sudan since independence in 2011, worth a combined $179m. The bank is investing $137m into its current portfolio of projects in the country.