Sudan, a Republic in Northeast Africa, is the largest country in the continent. It is bounded in the north by Egypt; in the east by the Red Sea, Eritrea and Ethiopia; in the south by Kenya, Uganda and Zaire; and on the west by the Republic of Central Africa, Chad and Libya in the North-West. Sudan has a total area of 2,505,813 sq km (about 967, 495 sq miles). The capital city is Khartoum. Other major cities are Juba and Omdurman, Madani, Obaid, Fashir, Nyala and Port Sudan.

The countryís estimated 1999 population equaled approximately 34.4 million. Sudanís official language is Arabic, however, over 100 languages are spoken throughout the country. The local currency is Sudanese dinar. The international time zone is GMT +2 and the international dialing code is +249.



Modern Sudanese history was influenced by Napoleon's victory in 1797, at the battle of the Pyramids which shook the power of the Mamelukes rulers of Egypt, and paved the way for the rise to power of the Albenian soldier Muhammad Ali Basha.

Muhammad Ali sent his third son Ismail at the head of 10,000 men across the desert to annex Sudan and, by 1821, all of north and central Sudan was under his control. For the first time, the Sudan began to take shape as a political entity.

Salvation was to come from the desert. A man called Muhammad Ahmad, was born in 1844. He soon retired to Aba Island, 150 miles south of Khartoum, to lead the life of a religious man, proclaiming himself in 1881 to be the Mahdi. The tribes of the west rallied to the Mahdi's call for a war against the colonizers. In 1884, the Mahdi conquered all parts of Sudan except Khartoum.

The British, who meanwhile had moved into Egypt, resolved that the Sudan could not be held, and sent General Charles Gordon to evacuate Khartoum. After 317 days the Mahdi's followers overran the city's defenses. They razed Khartoum and killed The English Governor Gordon.

Five months after the fall of Khartoum, the Mahdi died of typhus; Khalifa Abdallah succeeded him. Hardly had he come to power when the Sudan was plunged in a series of civil wars. In September 1898 the Anglo-Egyptian force led by General Herbert Kitchener met the Khalifa's 60,000 warriors on an open plain outside Omdurman at a place called Karari. Khalifa's casualties comprised 10,800 killed and 16.000 wounded, and Kitchener entered Omdurman as a conqueror.

On January 19, 1899 Britain and Egypt signed a condominium agreement under which the Sudan was to be administered jointly. Mounting Egyptian nationalism in the period after World War I culminated in 1924 in the assassination of Sir Lee Stack, Governor - General of the Sudan in the streets of Cairo; the British reaction resulted in the expulsion of all Egyptian officials from the Sudan.

In 1936 a few Egyptians were allowed to return to the country in minor posts. But the signing of the 1936 agreement stimulated Sudanese nationalists who objected both to the return of the Egyptians and to the fact that other nations were deciding their destiny. Expression of this feeling was seen in the formation of the Graduates' Congress, under the leadership of Ismail al-Azhari.



Sudan map: the arrow points to the Dam's location

End of the Condominium Rule

On February 12, 1953, Britain and Egypt signed an accord ending the condominium rule and agreed to grant Sudan self-government within three years. The agreement also provided for a senate for the Sudan, a Council of Ministers, and a House of Representatives, elections which was to be supervised by an international commission.

The elections that were held during November and December 1953 resulted in victory for the National Unionist Party (NUP), and its leader, Ismail al-Azhari, became the Sudan's first Prime Minister in January 1954. The replacement of British and Egyptian officers in the Sudanese civil service by Sudanese nationals followed rapidly.


The Independence

On December 19, 1955, the Parliament voted unanimously that the Sudan should become "a fully independent sovereign state". Consequently, British and Egyptian troops left the country on January 1, 1956; the same day a five-man Council of State was appointed to take over the powers of the governor general until a new constitution was set up.

Two years, later, on 17 November 1958 a bloodless army coup led by General Ibrahim Abboud toppled the Government of al-Azhari. On his assuming power, General Abboud declared that he would rule through a thirteen-member army junta and that democracy was being suspended in the Sudan in the name of "honesty and integrity". Abboud was toppled in a popular uprising in October 1964.

In 1966, Sadig al-Mahdi, the 30-year-old president of the Umma party, took over as Prime Minister. Internally, the security situation in the southern Sudan continued to cause anxiety; successive Prime Ministers visited the South in April and October but neither threats nor blandishments succeeded in curbing the rebels.

The Ministry for Southern Affairs sought to restore normal life to those parts of the southern provinces under government control, but there was little or no security in Equatoria Province. In May 1969 Colonel Numeiry came to power after a military coup de etat, and the armed forces launched a major offensive against the rebel camps there in October 1970.

The war ended officially in March 1972, when Colonel Numeiry signed the Addis Ababa Peace Pact with  the Leader of the Anya-Nya rebels in the south.

Numeiry ruled the country until 1985 when he was removed by a the April Popular Uprising. An elected civilian government led by Sadig El- Mahdi replaced him. 

 Again in 1988 and early 1989, following farther discontent in the country and within the military  Brig. Omar Hassan 'Ahmed El Bashir led the National Salvation Revolution  on June 30, 1989. He formed a 15 member Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation.

The Salvation Government underwent a lot of reforms to move from a military government to the election system. On 9th Jan 2005 the government singed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the SPLA to end Sudan's 21-year civil war. Now the country is ruled by a National Unity Government formed based on the Peace Agreement. An appointed legislative body was also formed according to that agreement.

Sudan has considerable natural resources. Its economy was almost exclusively agricultural until the start of significant oil production in 1999.

Stable prices resulting from International Monetary Fund (IMF)-approved macroeconomic policies have led to a slowdown in currency depreciation and an improved fiscal balance. In 2004, Sudan 's real GDP grew 6.5% and is expected to grow 6.2% in 2005. Exports have increased sharply since the completion of a main oil export pipeline in 1999, although the country ran a current account deficit of $727 million in 2003. In an effort to increase its trade potential, Sudan has applied for World Trade Organization (WTO) membership, with the conclusion of negotiations expected in 2008. Despite its economic progress, Sudan faces various developmental obstacles, including limited infrastructure and an external debt estimated in 2003 at $24 billion. Continued economic improvements are contingent on the country qualifying for massive debt relief.

 Sudan had an estimate energy production of 3,354 gegawatt in 2003. of which 1,163.2 coming from hydropower stations, 1,167.8 steam power generation, 209.7 diesel power generation, 328.2 coming from gas turbine power stations, and 485.1 GW from combined power stations. (for more information refer to the National Electricity Corporation website at The country's main generating facility is the 280-MW Roseires dam located on the Blue Nile river basin, approximately 315 miles southeast of Khartoum . The low water levels often cause its output to fall to 100 MW.

Electricity is transmitted through two interconnected electrical grids -- the Blue Nile Grid and the Western grid -- which cover only a small portion of the country. Regions not covered by the grid rely on small diesel-fired generators and wood fuel for power. Only 30% of Sudanese currently have access to electricity, but the government hopes to increase that figure to 90% in coming years. In June 2004, the Electricity Minister Ali Tamim Fartak said that Sudan has secured more than $2 billion of the estimated $3 billion necessary to meet that goal.

Several projects are underway to increase the generating capacity. The largest include the 1,250-MW Merowe Dam and the 300-MW proposed Kajbar hydroelectric facilities in northern Sudan. The Chinese Government, few Arab countries and several Arab Funds have contributed funding to construction of the Merowe facility, which is scheduled for completion in July 2008.

In addition to the Merowe and Kajbar facilities, in June 2004, Sudan inaugurated two electric power stations located north of Khartoum, estimated to have a combined capacity of 330 MW. In November 2004, Sudan's first independent power production (IPP) project also went on stream. Located near Khartoum, the 257-MW diesel plant sells output to the state-owned National Electricity Corporation (NEC). Several additional power stations with a total capacity of 700 MW are scheduled for completion before 2008.

Foreign investment in the Sudanese power sector is expected to increase with the cessation of the recently-ended civil war.

El Jaili Power Plant Project

The National Electricity Corporation (NEC) built a new site within the vicinity of Khartoum refining at El-Jaili. El-Jaili combined cycle power station is refer to as plant 1.

Plant configuration: 2 blocks 2 ( 2 + 1 ) type 206 B Turn key.

Contractor: Harbin Power Engineering Company limited of China.

Consultant: Lahmeyer International of Germany.

a) Other scope of supply: Transmission lines, Eid Babiker / Kilo x 220 / 110 KV.

Eid Babiker / Khartoum North substations at Elgaili 6 units transformers 40 MVA each.

(b) AT Eid Babiker 2 x 150 MVA Transformers .

(c) Date of Contracting: 21 April 2001

(d) Project Duration : 32 months

(e) Financing : Credit Facility for 10 years .


Dit Kilo X Power Station

  • 257 MW Diesel Generation on IPP Basis

  • NEC has signed its first Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) on 3 May 2001.

  • The PPA is made with DIT of Malaysia along 18 months negotiation .The generation Project is composed of 7 diesel units and to be interconnected at the existing Kilo X substation where bays for injection of 110 KV are available .

The station has been named ( DIT KILO X POWER STATION ), managed by Malaysian staff at the administration level while the Sudanese would be employed for running and maintaining the plant .The Project  recruits 300 of operation and maintenance Personnel .


Sudan contains proven reserves of 563 million barrels of oil, more than twice the 262 million barrels estimated in 2001. Because much of Sudanese oil exploration has been limited to the central and south-central regions, Sudanese Energy Ministry representatives estimate proven reserves at 700 million barrels and total reserves at five billion barrels, including potential reserves in northwest Sudan , the Blue Nile Basin , and the Red Sea area in eastern Sudan . Oil production has risen steadily since the completion of an export pipeline in July 1999. Crude oil production averaged 343,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2004, up from 270,000 bbl/d during 2003. In December 2004, Sudanese Energy Minister Awad al-Jaz announced that oil production will likely increase to 500,000 bbl/d in 2005. Sudanese production may reach 750,000 bbl/d by late 2006 if increases in output progress as planned.

The recent peace agreement between the government and the SPLA will likely lead to substantial investment in both production facilities and new exploration initiatives in the country. In January 2005, after the official signing of the CPA, Total SA, Marathon Oil Corporation, and the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Company renewed their exploration rights in southern Sudan .

In 1996, Canadian independent Arakis Energy (Arakis) began development of the Heglig and Unity fields (Blocks 1, 2, and 4), estimated to contain recoverable reserves of 600 million to 1.2 billion barrels. Because the fields were not located near the Red Sea coast, Arakis entered into a consortium with the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC) to raise investment for a 994-mile pipeline from the fields to the Suakim oil terminal near Port Sudan. In September 1999, the first cargo of "Nile Blend" crude departed the export terminal. Although the pipeline from the fields to an export terminal near Port Sudan was originally built to move 150,000 bbl/d, its capacity reportedly can be expanded to 450,000 bbl/d. In January 2005, GNPOC reported production of 325,000 bbl/d from Blocks 1, 2, and 4.

In March 2003, Talisman sold its stake in GNPOC (acquired through its purchase of Arakis) to India's national oil company, ONGC Videsh. In August 2004, ONGC agreed to facilitate Sudan's purchase of the 25% stake. ONGC also plans to give Sudapet a two percent stake in Block 5A and a one percent stake in Block 5B.

Other Fields
In June 2004, Petrodar, a consortium of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) (41%), Petronas (40%), Sudapet (8%), Gulf Oil Petroleum (6%), and the Al-Thani Corporation (5%) awarded a $239 million contract to Malaysia 's Ranhill International and Sudan 's Petroneeds Services International for development work on blocks 3 and 7. The blocks contain the Adar Yeil and Tale fields, which came online in 2005 with a combined capacity of 200,000 bbl/d. Capacity is expected to increase to 300,000 bbl/d by late 2006. Construction will include a 300,000 bbl/d central processing facility at Al-Jabalayan, production facilities at Palogue, and a pipeline linking the two. CNPC's Block 6 also came online in November 2004 at a rate of 10,000 bbl/d, expected to eventually reach 170,000 bbl/d.

In October 2004, Malaysian Peremba began construction of a $232 million marine export terminal for the Melut Basin Oil Development Project. The terminal, scheduled for completion in December 2005, will have a capacity of 2 million bbl/d. Malaysia's Nam Fatt and Italy's Bentinin have been contracted to build six pumping facilities in the basin by April 2006. Construction on a 870-mile pipeline linking the Melmut Basin to the export terminal near Port Sudan has been divided into four parts, with separate consortias to undertake each of the segments. In July 2004, a consortium led by MMC Corporation was contracted to build a 304-mile portion, scheduled for completion in May 2005. In August 2004, Russian Stroitransgas began construction on a 227-mile section, which it expects to complete within 12 months.

New exploration activity recently commenced in several regions of Sudan . In June 2004, oil exploration began for the first time in northern Sudan , on Block 9 in the Jazira region north of Khartoum . Exploration drilling in the Nile Valley 's al-Damir began in November 2004.

Sudan has been self-sufficient in producing all petroleum products except aviation fuel since the June 2000 opening of the Khartoum Oil Refinery. The Khartoum refinery, built and operated by CNPC, produces benzene and butane gas for domestic consumption and export, as well as gasoline for local consumption. Although the Khartoum refinery has a named crude refining capacity of 50,000 bbl/d, this reportedly increased to 70,000 bbl/d in June 2004.

The Port Sudan facility, located near the Red Sea, is Sudan's smallest refinery and has a current capacity of 21,700 bbl/d. In November 2004, the Sudanese government announced plans to expand its refining capacity by upgrading facilities at Khartoum and Port Sudan, giving them capacities of 100,000 bbl/d each, by primarily capitalizing on CNPC's $340 million injection into the Khartoum refinery in September 2003.

In August 2004, ONGC agreed to invest $200 million in a 460-mile Sudanese pipeline in return for payment in crude oil. The pipeline will have a capacity of 18,330 bbl/d and transport gas, oil, and gasoline from the Khartoum refinery to Port Sudan. Completion is expected in October 2005.

In addition to refineries at Khartoum and Port Sudan, the country has two other refineries --El Gaily, with a capacity of 50,000 bbl/d; and El Obeid, with a capacity of 10,000 bbl/d.



The Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources is responsible for the nationís water resources. The River Nile and its tributaries is the most important water resource in the country.

River Nile:

River flowing through Egypt and Sudan, which has its sources in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Burundi. The Nile, and then we talk about the river when defined as starting with the Kyaka river in Burundi, is 6,671 km long, and has a surface area of a total of 3,350,000 km≤ (5 times the area of France). The discharge is around 3,1 million litres per second.
The ancient name of the Nile, was Iteru. The annual flood was personified by the god Hapy, who was associated with fertility and regeneration.

The Nile can be divided into three zones: The tributaries, the many rivers that make up the stream of the Nile. The White and Blue Niles join near Khartoum in Sudan, and other tributaries join the White Nile further south. The second zone is the stretch between Cairo and Khartoum. The third and last zone is the delta, where the Nile divides into several branches, of which Rosetta (Rashid) and Damietta (Dumyat) are the main ones. The Nile Delta is the widest habitable area of the Nile, and it even includes several lakes, like Manzala, Buruillus and Edku.
Modern times have added more division lines, like the
two dams at Aswan. South of this the river valley opens up, allowing rich agriculture and high population density. The width of the Nile below Aswan ó it's most important stretch in terms of inhabitants and economy ó is 2.8 km in average. The greatest width is at Edfu, with 7.5 km, the smallest at Silwa Gorge, near Aswan, with 350 metres.
There are also minor dams in Sudan, aiding agriculture and protecting against large floods.
About 83% of the total water of the Nile comes from Lake Tana, 1,800 metres above sea level in the Ethiopian mountains. The lake flows over every summer providing for the flood that today is tamed by the barrages of Sudan and southern Egypt. This water flows through the Blue Nile until it joins the White Nile at Khartoum, Sudan to form the Nile. The other main source is the White Nile originating in Uganda and Burundi. It contributes with 16%, but this is a more steady flow. Without it, the river Nile would run dry in May. As there are many single contributors to the White Nile, it is a question of definition on where the Nile really starts. The longest stretch of the Nile comes with the start of Kyaka river in Burundi, close to large Lake Tanganyika. This passage goes through Lake Victoria, then Victoria Nile, Lake Albert, Albert Nile, which in Sudan is called Mountain Nile. Mountain Nile joins other rivers of Sudan to form the White Nile.
The third contributor is the River Atbara, which joins the main course of the Nile 300 km north of Khartoum. Atbara river contributes with less than 1%, and runs dry at times of the year.
The Nile carries water all through the year, but the amount of water it carries, varies depending on the season. With the construction of
Aswan High Dam
, this is now controlled for Egypt's part. In ancient times, when agriculture depended much upon the water and the silt from the annual flood, the ideal flooding height was 7-8 metres. Less than that, and the produce was in danger. More than that, and the flood could cause major damage.
There are more dams than the one at Aswan, in Sudan the Blue Nile is dammed by Sennar Dam and Roseiris Dam. The White Nile is dammed just before Khartoum. Both are important for local agriculture. The Nile ends in a delta area, that is also its most fertile, in northern Egypt.


There are four large dams  in operation. The two largest dams are the Roseires and Sennar on the Blue Nile. Both of these are multipurpose structures. 

Roseires Dam

The Roseires Dam is located on the Blue Nile about 500 kilometres south-east of the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. The 280 MW hydro-electric plant located at the dam supplies nearly half of Sudanís power output, though generation varies greatly through the year with changing river flows. The dam also provides irrigation water for the Gezira Plain. The Nile rises dramatically in the flood season between July and September when the damís five massive sluice gates are opened to permit silt to flow down the Nile and to avoid siltation of the reservoir. Since the damís completion in the mid-1960s the steel lining of the gates has become very corroded. A German company has been commissioned to repair the gates and SMEC has been appointed engineering adviser to the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources.

SMECsí role is to review and comment on the German rehabilitation design and to oversee the repair process which is carried out during several months of each year from December onwards when downstream access to the gates is possible. Repair is expected to take three or four years. Finance for the work is being provided by the Islamic Development Bank.

Sinnar Dam

Sennar dam is the oldest dam in the country. It was built in 1926 to provide irrigation for the Gezira Scheme. It has  recently been rehabilitated, as part of a programme to rehabilitate the Gezira irrigation scheme. Work included refurbishment of the sluiceways and installation of additional isolating gates. The two irrigation channels are soon to be refurbished.

Jebel Aulia Dam

Jebel Aulia Dam is in south west of Khartoum, about 50 KM away. This is the first time that it has been thought over to make use of that dam.

The project is for design and erection of 80 turbines. Each two turbines are a matrix will be erected at one dam gate. Turbine output is 380 KW. The total capacity will be 80 x 380 k watts.

The project will be subjected to 8 divisions (LOTS) each lot consists of 10 turbines. The first lot (10 turbines) will be handed over after 16 months. The other 8 lots of turbines will be handed over successively within 24 months. Vatech hydro the Austrian Comp. is the contractor. The contract signed on 20th of Dec. 2000, and the total contract price is 30 Million Euro which will be paid as follows:

(a) 15 % of total price as an advanced payment

(b) 85 % of total price will be paid against contract activities, through thirty six months on average of ( 1- 7 %) of total contract price .The project is financed by the Sudanese Government.