The government of South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum on Tuesday kicked off its 2022 oil and power investment conference in Juba under the theme “Gateway to East African Energy”.
The two-day conference was opened by First Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar and keynote addresses were delivered by Petroleum Minister Puot Kang Chol, Mining Minister Martin Gama Abucha, and Djibouti’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Yonis Ali Guedi among others.
Dr. Machar said the world was transitioning from fossil fuel to new forms of energy and that South Sudan should exhaust its crude oil before moving to clean energy.
“We are now talking of transition from fossil fuel to new energy so we must compete with whatever we have on the ground. If we can extract it (crude oil) sooner before the move to cleaner energy that will be good for us and we would have built our roads, rail, airport and we would have built our base for industry,” he said. “We call upon you to come and invest in this. We are more oriented to increase production so that from the revenue, we can build our infrastructure base and we also provide the delivery of the necessary services such as health, education and clean water.”
Petroleum Minister Puot Kang Chol reassured partners of his ministry’s and the country’s commitment to long-term business continuity.
“The ministry of petroleum, on behalf of the people of South Sudan, would like to assure all our partners like Nile pet, CNPC of China, Petronas from Malaysia, ONGC from India, and the Strategic Fuel Fund from South Africa of our commitment and support for a long term business continuity of our business,” he said. “We are looking for investors to come to South Sudan and to connect with our national and local companies. The ministry of petroleum, in collaboration with the ministry of environment, has launched a competitive tender for the commencement of environmental audits across the industry. This will help the country review, improve and strengthen environmental laws.”
Minster Kang said regarding transparency and accountability, his ministry continues to report on daily production and the marketing of petroleum products.
“We are also currently being audited as we are also under the law and must be audited by those who are mandated to do so,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mining Minster Martin Abucha called on companies to invest in South Sudan saying the country has the potential to export to the world.
“It is definitely the time that we need investment and energy is what we want today. The transition from fossil fuel to green and clean energy is a demand of the world today and without this transition, we will not be able to improve our livelihoods,” he said. “Importantly, a just transition is what we need and South Sudan has the potential to export not just to Africa but the world. In the mining sector, we have many minerals and we will be the engine for the transition.”
For his part, Sandile Nogxina, the Special Advisor to South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, said they identified South Sudan as a strategic partner.
“We have identified South Sudan as one of our strategic partners and are leveraging our production sharing agreement. We will soon commence with the Aero magnetic surveys,” he said. “This is not an isolated exploration project but an integrated one with the opportunities to create a pipeline to export the resources and create refineries to process those resources.”
“It is our belief that these efforts will significantly contribute to both countries’ energy sufficiency,” he added.
South Sudan’s investment minister, Dhieu Mothok Diing Wol, said the country has a conducive investment environment.
“The investors coming to South Sudan want to know whether there is a conducive environment for investment or not and as the minister of investment, I can confirm that it is conducive,” he said. “We have signed the peace agreement and have implemented and negotiated it and now we are peaceful.”
“South Sudan is not the only country blessed with resources and this is why we try to be competitive, making establishment plans based on legal frameworks to ensure competitive laws and regulations that will protect investors,” Minister Mathok added