'Heavy damage' to key Sudan oil facility

2012-04-23 12:22
Heglig - Sudan's main oil processing facility in the key oil region of Heglig is heavily damaged, after South Sudanese troops occupied the area, an AFP correspondent reported on Monday.

He said a storage tank has been destroyed by fire, eight generators which provided power to the facility are also burned, and some oil is leaking onto the ground at the plant operated by Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC).

Abdel Azim Hassan, a Sudanese supervising engineer with the firm, accused South Sudan of the damage, which halted production at Heglig.

"They destroyed the main electricity station which supplied the oil fields and the central processing station," he said, adding the control rooms and safety system for the central processing facility were also destroyed by "professional" saboteurs.

"Now we are working to maintain the stations as quickly as possible," initially by restoring manual operation, he said.

South Sudan's army alleged that Sudanese warplanes had bombed a Heglig oil processing facility, setting it ablaze last Thursday.

GNPOC is a joint operating company 40% owned by China's CNPC and 30% by Petronas of Malaysia, according to the company website.

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