Um Dabakir used to be a sleepy village near Rabak in White Nile State, 320 kms south of Khartoum. Today, it has been transformed into a ‘Mega-Watts’ town hosting four steam turbines generating 125 MWs each. The 4x125MW (500 Mega Watts) crude oil fired thermal power plant was set up by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a Government of India, public sector enterprise. BHEL was entrusted as the EPC (Engineering-Procurement-Construction) contractor by the Ministry of Electricity, Government of Sudan. This was reported as the single largest export order secured by BHEL worth 457.5 million USD. Government of India had extended a concessional line of credit of 350 million USD through EXIM Bank of India.
BHEL is an integrated power plant equipment manufacturer with over 50 years of experience and has installed over 157 GW globally. BHEL is currently engaged in the execution of all types/range of power equipment, be it Thermal, Gas, Nuclear, Hydro or Solar. BHEL’s overseas operations began four decades back and has presence in 78 countries across all six continents. BHEL has references today in almost half of the African continent. It has recently completed 28 MW Nyaborango Hydro project in Rwanda which was recently inaugurated by the President of Rwanda. In addition, BHEL has also recently commissioned 2×20 MW Steam Turbine and Generators for cogeneration application at Tendaho Sugar Factory in Ethiopia.
On 4th February 2016, President Omer Al-Bashir officially opened the Um Dabakir Power Station. Along with the President were Minister of Water Resources and Electricity Mutaz Musa Abdalla Salim, Ambassador of India H.E. Amrit Lugun, Chairman and Managing Director of BHEL Mr. Atul Sobti and other senior officials from BHEL, Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity and Sudanese Thermal Generating Company.
After ceremoniously unveiling the plaque and signing the documents, President Omer Al-Bashir spoke to Indian Ambassador Amrit Lugun, BHEL Chief Atul Sobti and other senior officials from BHEL. He said that the thermal plant is a symbol of trust, faith and cooperation of South-South relations and India and Sudan in particular. The President acknowledged the warm welcome extended to him by the Government of India during his visit to New Delhi at the India Africa Summit.
President Omer Bashir appreciated the completion of Phase 1 of the BHEL project and has now signed an agreement for the extension of the power project in its second phase. He mentioned that he would talk to the Government of India in terms of both technology and finance. At the end he went back to history and acknowledged India as the first trading partners with Sudan. Later the President chaired a Council of Ministers meeting at Um Dabakir. While appreciating the report of the Minister of Water Resources and Electricity Engineer Mutaz Musa, the President reiterated his gratitude to India and spoke of extension of the power project.