The exploration of the oil resources is one of the most significant achievements in the Sudan in the last decade, when the country's imports of petroleum products amounted to $400 million per anmum, consuming a great portion of the hard currency revenues. Early attempts of exploration of oil began since 1959, then the American Chevron Company came in mid seventies to confirm the existence of large oil reserves in the country, but the Company suspended its work and finally withdrew from the country in 1990.
However Sudan was determined to utilize its oil and was endeavouring to diversify sources of dealings and adopted an open door policy with different states in the world. The outcome of this policy was the establishment of a national consortium to implement the policy of utilization of oil; by the end of 1996 the following bodies were established:
1) The Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC), 40%
2) The Malaysian National Petroleum Company, 30%.
3) The Canadian State Co. (replaced by an Indian Co.), 25%
4) The Sudanese Sudapet Co., 5%
and that was the greatest breakthrough in Sudan oil production.
Drilling exploration began in the two areas of Heglieg and Al-Wihda in 1996 while the commercial production of the ore started in 1999 with 20.7 million barrels increased to more than 150 million barrels in 2004.
Construction of the pipeline:
Within the plan to develop the oil resources in the country, the construction of a 1610 km long pipeline from the production areas to the port of exportation at the Red Sea and with it began exportation and international marketing of oil. Another pipeline was constructed from Fula oil field up to Khartoum Refinery.
There are five oil refineries in the country; Port Sudan, Concorp, El-Obied, Abu-Gabra, and Khartoum Oil Refinery. Abu-Gabra refinery was constructed in 1992 with a capacity of 2000 bpd, El-Obied in 1996 with 10,000 barrels/day capacity, and the Concorp Refinery in Al-Shajara, Khartoum in 1999. The Khartoum Refinery at El-Giely was established and operated in 2000 with a capacity of 50,000 bpd, the first phase of expansion completed in 2004 when its capacity raised to 62,000 bpd while the capacity shall rise to 100,000 bpd by the completion of the second stage of expansion. This refinery has had the decisive role in the realization of a self-sufficiency in petroleum products. Sudan production has increased to 200,000 bpd by the end of 2005 and the government share would rise to 80%.
The establishment of Khartoum oil refinery has paved the way for Sudan to enter the world of petro-chemical industry, when Khartoum Petro-chemical Factory was established at El-Giely for the production of plastics in a partnership between the Ministry of Energy and Mining and the Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC).
The introduction of electricity in Sudan since 1908 with the installation of 100 kw generator and direct current. In 1995 a deal was reached with a group of British companies to develop electricity and water facilities and the Sudancse Light and Energy Company was established and the capacity rose to 3,000 kw. In 1956 the government of Sudan signed a contract to install 30 mega-watt generators. In 1962, the first hydroelectric plant was inaugurated in Sinar Dam with a capacity of 15 megawatt and Khashm El-Qirba Plant was added with a designed capacity of 12.6 megawatt in addition to El-Damazin Plant with a capacity of 280 megawatt.
In 1982 the electricity was separated from water and the Electricity National Corporation, became part of the Ministry Energy, which assumed the responsibility of electric supply in the Sudan.
To enable investors to enter this field, the Electricity Law was issued in the year 2000 which offered the possibility of the private sector investment in the area of electricity generation, transportation or distribution. The Investrnent Law of 2001 encourages investment in this field.
The Electricity Nabonal Corporation has drawn long term plans for electricity production in Sudan (1993-2015) for all parts of the country. In the framework of this plan plans were made 2002-2007 major development projects were implemcnted, including:
1) Garri (1) plant project, with a capacity of 210 megawatt, near Khartoum Refinery at El-Giely, to utilize liquid gas and diesel
2) Garri (2) plant project with a capacity of 10 megawatt
3) The Turbines project at Jebel Awaliya
4) Kilo 10 plant project (private generation)
5) The rehabilitation project of Unit Foor at the Rosaires plant, which was completed in 2003.
6) Al-Izairgab plant, completed and entered into operation in 2003
7) El-Fao plant, completed in April 2003.
8) Marenjan and El-Hassaheissa transfer plant, entered in the service in 30 March 2003
9) The transporting line of 200 kilo volt (El-Giely - Khartoum North). 10) Id-Babiker transfer plant, completed in March 2003.
11) The rehabilitation of Um-Haraz technical training center, completed in June 2003
12) The project for renovating premises of the headquarters of the Electricity National Corporation, 2003.
13) The second circle plant of the Majaros kilo 10, entered the service in 2003.
The project of the automatic control distribution:
Initiated in 1997 to introduce technologies internationally used, in the management of Khartoum vast electricity grid through the remote automatic operation via small centers, the project is efficiently started operating in 2003.
The pre-paid meters and the computerization project:
This experiment began in 1997. It came as part of a comprehensive reform project of the Electricity National Corporation with the aim of developing the environment of work by the introduction of state of the art technology. The prepaid meters system was introduced to cope with the international advancement in this field where it sought that these type of meters would help in elimination of debt accumulation, reduce the operational cost and rational consumption in addition to improve the relationship between the Corporation and the clients.
The Merwe Dam Electricity:
The Merwe Dam, among its objectives, constitutes an important factor in addressing the issue of electricity supply in the country as the expected generated power is estimated at 1250 megawatt per-annum making an unprecedented addition to electricity supply in the country. It is anticipated that the production of electricity would begin in July 2007 with a capacity of 250 megawatt and the full capacity of the dam would be reached by August 2008. The electricity would be transported by lines of 500,000 volt carrying electricity to the town of Dongola in the north, Port Sudan in the east and Khartoum in the south to link with the national grid system for distribution to different parts of the country which is expected to have an important impact on socio-economic development.
The Sudan enjoys rich mineral ores such as Gold, Silver, Iron, Copper, Cobalt, Lead, Silicon, Mika, Chrome, Zinc, Gypsum and other several minerals yet to be utilized.
The government has paid great concern to the geological and mining sector where extensive studies were carried out in different parts of the country with the objective of assessment and attraction of many local and international companies for investment in this field. The General Corporation for Geological Research has drawn a comprehensive strategy for mineral exploration in the country where ores of Gold were discovered in the Red Sea area, central and southern Sudan, Iron, Copper, Zinc and Chrome in the Red Sea Hills, Darfur and Southern Kordofan.
A deal was concluded between Sudan and France to establish the Ariab Gold MINING Company in the Red sea region. The Company began its work in 1992 with the production of some 982 kilograms of gold. The production has reached 5565 kilograms in 1999 and increased to 8.6 thousands kilograms in 2003. The investment of Ariab has amounted to more than $36 million and the contribution of the mining and energy sector in the general revenues of the State has reached to nearly 30 billion dinars per year.
Among the most important achievements in this aspect is the preparation, and publishing of the first geological digital map of the Sudan in 2004. Also a seismographic network was established and entered into service. A geological information centre was also established in addition to the establishment of laboratories and geophysics measurement equipments.