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Sudan Says In Talks With Qatar Over Natural Gas Imports

Sudan Says In Talks With Qatar Over Natural Gas Imports

The African nation hopes to get shipments as early as next year to use in generating power.

Sudan is in talks with Qatar over natural gas imports and hopes to get shipments as early as next year to use in generating power, Sudan’s defence minister said Tuesday after visiting the gas-rich Gulf state to sign a military cooperation deal.

Sudan’s economy went into free fall after the secession of the oil-rich third of the country in 2011, taking most of the country’s petroleum output. Inflation currently hovers around 40 per cent.

Qatar, the world’s top natural gas exporter, has been known to strengthen ties with allies through “gift” cargoes of liquified natural gas (LNG). It helped Sudan’s neighbour, Egypt, during Islamist President Mohamed Mursi’s year in power by arranging a gas “swap” to ease crippling energy shortages there.

“On this visit, we discussed the import of gas from Qatar to be used in the production of electricity in Sudan, and in the coming year we will see the arrival of Qatari gas to Sudan,” Abdel Raheem Mohammed Hussein told reporters at Khartoum’s airport upon his arrival from Doha.

Though Hussein said the natural gas imports would be used for power generation, it was not immediately clear if Sudan had the facilities to import LNG or to use it to generate power.

Hussein said the two countries also signed a military cooperation agreement that includes “joint training…(and) cooperation in the areas of logistics and seconded officers”.

He did not give details about where the bulk of the miltiary cooperation exercises would take place but said the Qatari Defence Minister and other military officials would visit Khartoum before the end of the year.

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