European Union yesterday provided €106 million for the clean energy programme
that is being implemented by National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) at
the launch of the renewable energy program.
The project includes €65 million under a 25-year long-term concessional loan from European Investment Bank and a €41 million grant from the European Union budget.
The project will also enjoy €35.7 million support financing from the World Bank.
The initiative is expected to generate 20MW of solar energy and distributed across 400km which will benefit 1100 rural schools and health centres.
The project is aimed at improving access to clean energy, significantly increase the current energy supply to 20% in the country to ensure that rural schools and health centres get reliable power supply.
The European funding will support feasibility and environmental studies, technical training, new infrastructure to connect social services and regulatory assistance to allow renewable energy to be supplied to NAWEC.
During the programme, the ambassador of European Union, Attila Lajos, said the European Investment Bank is committed to supporting climate action around the world. He added that the EU Bank and EIB are pleased to support the first project in The Gambia since inception in 1991.
“The project provides €65 million for the transformational project in cooperation with The Gambia, International and European partners,” he said.
Connecting one of the largest solar power plants in West Africa to communities across Gambia will increase access to clean energy, create new economic opportunities and improve health and education for future generations,’ he also said.
The managing director of NAWEC, Baba Fatajo, said throughout the institution’s history, the project is the biggest they have embarked on.
He said the sector requires capital intensive projects to make a meaningful development which unfortunately wasn’t there for them.