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Trinity Energy eyes entry into upstream business in oil and gas sector

By Denis Ejulu

With an estimated 350 billion of proven oil reserves in South Sudan, several local players such as Trinity Energy Limited are eyeing a slice of the pie in the oil and gas sector dominated by foreign multi-lateral companies since independence in 2011.

Trinity Energy Limited, the largest provider of refined petroleum products in the country is intent on engaging in the up-stream business in the oil and gas sector. 

Dr. Phillip Waden, Trinity Energy Power Project Manager revealed in an interview with The Juba Echo that after undertaking some critical power projects such as the Wau Power Plant, they are now moving to compete in the lucrative oil and gas sector.

This is in line with the mission of South Sudan being the main gateway to East African energy as agreed upon during the just concluded 2022 Oil and Power Conference held last week in Juba. 

Private local companies such as Trinity Energy Limited are expected in a few years from now to play leading role in the oil and gas sector alongside state-owned Nile Petroleum Corporation Limited (NILEPET).

“Since independence, we have been running this country on oil money and the local companies also are trying to do business in this (up-stream) area, first they will develop their skills in the oil and gas business as well as other areas of the business,” Waden said on Friday. 

“We want to get involved in this area, first we need to do this business in a right way, I think in the last decades the lack of environmental issues has come up simply because may be the drilling of the projects were not done properly, and Trinity Energy as an indigenous company will always do the business in the right way,” he added.

Waden said that upon Trinity’s entry into the up-stream business, they are looking to work with the ministry of finance and ministry of petroleum to avoid past mistakes of environmental degradation blamed on foreign companies operating in the oil fields.

 In addition, Waden said they are also already big players in the nascent power sector in the country.

Trinity Energy is already rehabilitating the power network and also renovating the Wau Power Plant that will supply about 6 Megga Watts of electricity to the area, and neighboring states in greater Bahr El Ghazal region.

The Wau power project is scheduled to be complete by December this year if all requirements are met on time. 

Waden said the power project has been delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic disrupting logistics and procurement of essential equipment.

“We were having difficulties to bring in our materials and to agree with companies to give us the cost of the electrical materials, as well as spare parts for the power plant,” he said.

He however, noted that project remains on course to be finished before they set up similar power project in Western Equatoria State and Lakes State respectively. 

“To fund this kind of project especially thermal power plant is not easy, first it is costing a lot of money and then to find a financier also is difficult because most of the developed countries are now pulling out from thermal power business. For us, we are getting challenges to get a financier but good enough we have local banks like Kenya Commercial Bank and Equity Bank,” Waden said.

He disclosed that these local banks are willing to partner with Trinity Energy to enable the company implement power projects that in turn help attract investors and other key development projects in the country. 

Besides, thermal power Trinity Energy is also keen in renewables such as solar and wind energy.

“South Sudan is virgin land in terms of infrastructure, so there is a lot of work that we need to do, and starting with power it’s because power is the main item that can attract the other infrastructure development, so once there is power in any state then it is easy for the other investors to come and do business in whatever area they want,” Waden said.

Miriam Modong Dangasuk , Executive Assistant and Head of Programs – Trinity Energy Limited.

Miriam Modong Dangasuk , Executive Assistant and Head of Programs – Trinity Energy Limited, said one of their major aims is now to build local capacity as part of local content in the oil and gas sector.

“South Sudan has immense energy potential, we had a conference a few days ago and the discussion was on the need to increase (oil) production which goes to show that it is indeed the backbone of our economy but apart from the oil, we have the renewable energy sector we have River Nile which flows in South Sudan so we can tap into that and have hydro power,” Dangasuk said.

Dangasuk was among the panelists at the Oil and Power Conference who discussed the potential of South Sudan as key oil and energy hub in the region.

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