Sudan - Country Commercial Guide
Public Infrastructure
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All segments of Sudan’s national infrastructure, including its transportation network, electrical grid, and water supply network, need significant investment, modernization, and expansion.  For example, only about one third of Sudan’s 45-million population has access to electricity. The power grid, powered primarily by hydroelectric dams and oil-burning generators, faces an average daily deficit of 1,000 megawatts (MW).  During hot summer months when energy demand increases, blackouts of eight to 12 hours per day in the capital and other major cities are common.  Upgrading and expanding existing power generation capacity, while simultaneously modernizing and expanding the distribution network, has been a decade-long priority of the Sudanese government.  Electricity demand is expected to grow – but earlier forecasts of an annual 11 percent annual growth rate were based on studies that included heavy (now discontinued) electricity subsidies.  The government’s ability to fund electricity infrastructure improvements is extremely limited.

Sudan’s other infrastructure networks face the same challenges as the electrical network.  Road and rail networks extend for hundreds of miles throughout Sudan, however large sections of the country are serviced only by dirt roads.  Khartoum and Port Sudan have medium-sized international airports, and there are 23 regional airports across the country.  Port Sudan’s port facility requires a major expansion and renovation but is also hampered by acrimonious labor relations with the local tribe, who view the port as an important source of employment and revenue.

To address its infrastructure challenges, the government updated existing regulations and drafted a Public-Private Partnership law in 2021, however the government has not yet ratified the law.  The Electricity Act of 2001 was updated in 2019 to reflect the current sector context; it includes provisions for renewable energy and energy efficiency and clarify the role of the regulator in tariff-setting.  It also aims to provide for greater openness to the private sector by allowing private investment in isolated grids and clarifying that the Sudanese Electricity Holding Company (SEHC) is the off taker for power purchase agreements (PPAs).  The 2013 National Investment Act set certain incentives for priority infrastructure sub-sectors for Sudan’s development.  To date, these legislative efforts have led to the signing of numerous Memorandum of Understanding with foreign contractors and suppliers but have yet to result in the launch of any major infrastructure projects or attract significant foreign investment.