ABU DHABI, 2nd February, 2017 (WAM) — The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, contributed a US$90 million concessionary loan for the successful completion of a 320 megawatt hydroelectric power plant in eastern Sudan.
ADFD officials attended the official opening of the Upper Atbara and Setit Dam Complex plant, which was inaugurated by Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD; Badr El-Din Mahmoud Hamid Abbas, Sudanese Minister of Finance and Economic Planning; Hamad Mohammed Al Junaibi, the UAE Ambassador to Sudan, and several high-ranking Sudanese officials were also present.
The $1.9 billion Upper Atbara and Setit Dam Complex includes Rumela Dam on the Upper Atbarah River and Burdana Dam on the Setit River. The twin dams have a total storage capacity of 2.7 billion cubic metres of water.
The project makes use of natural water resources to reinforce agriculture production and generate much-needed electricity. It also led to the construction of schools, mosques, transportation infrastructure, healthcare centres and 11 housing communities. The complex is also expected to provide efficient irrigation systems and networks to increase agricultural production in New Halfa area.
“ADFD remains committed to supporting the Sudanese government in achieving the country’s developmental goals. In line with our mission to fund key sectors that yield significant benefits, our latest project goes a long way in serving the needs of the Sudanese population. The project directly supports the overall socio-economic growth of 93 villages and has led to the creation of 4,000 jobs. The plant not only provides a sustainable source of energy, but also helps expand agricultural areas, increases irrigation efficiency and enhances food and energy security,” Al Suwaidi said.
The Sudanese Minister of Finance and Economic Planning thanked the UAE government for its continued support. He said that ADFD’s developmental efforts directly contributed to improving people’s living standards in Sudan.
A total of 30,000 families affected by the project have been relocated to homes equipped with electricity and clean drinking water.
Apart from giving a major boost to the national power grid, the project supplies drinking water to thousands of people in the region and irrigates large expanses of fields, growing agricultural produce for domestic and international consumption, the Minister noted.
Since 1976, ADFD has contributed more than AED2 billion to 17 sustainable development projects in Sudan across key sectors, most notably health, education, transportation, agriculture, water, irrigation and energy.