Sudan has begun exporting butane gas with an initial shipment of 3,600 tones leaving Port Sudan to international markets last Friday, a senior energy official said in remarks published Tuesday. Energy and Mining Secretary General Hassan Mohamed Ali al-Toam said a recently inaugurated Chinese-built refinery is producing 550 tones of butane gas a day while the country consumes 130 tones a day.
He was quoted in Khartoum newspapers as saying the surplus gas is being exported by local oil companies, adding that his ministry is planning to build a gas-fuelled power house that yields 200 megawatts of electricity.
The refinery built by China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) in 19 months was inaugurated in June.
Sudan began exporting crude oil in August 1999 from the specially-built Beshair terminal near Port Sudan which is linked to oilfields in southern Sudan by a 1,610 kilometre (1,000 mile) pipeline.
© Agence France Presse 2000