NAWEC unveils Gambia’s electricity roadmap

Friday, November 24, 2017

The managing director of the National Water and Electricity Company  (NAWEC), Baba Fatajo on Thursday unveiled the country’s electricity sector roadmap at a media briefing held at NAWEC’s conference room.

The roadmap outlines short, medium and long-term measures and casts a vision to modernise the country’s energy sector. The blue print has been endorsed by President Adama Barrow and his cabinet.

At the media launching, Baba Fatajo acknowledged that the country’s electricity system was old and prone to breakdown as a result of decades of underinvestment and negligence.

The only 45MW of generation capacity, he went on, is available in the Greater Banjul area while peak demand is above 70MW.

He made it clear that electricity is a capital investment, but lamented that over the years there has not been intervention that would address the electricity problems in the country.

NAWEC MD noted that the load shedding and blackouts have calmed since October, but advised that outages will continue to be necessary for the next few months.

“Demand in the next three months is forecasted to grow to 150MW, which is more than twice the Greater Banjul area’s current demand. There is strong support from the international community to help government and NAWEC achieve 24/7 access to electricity by all Gambians”

The electricity roadmap, he added, also outlines actions to stablise the system by restoring generation to at least 70MW by early 2018, scale up investments in generation, transmission, distribution and commission independent power projects from 2018 to 2020 and expand access and increase generation to 300MW by 2025.

For his part, Fafa Sanyang, the minister of Energy and Petroleum, while commending all development partners for their efforts, acknowledged that part of the roadmap is to engage the public and the media in a bid to address the country’s electricity crisis.

The roadmap, he stated, was launched in July this year after going through process up to Cabinet.

The Energy minister disclosed that the implementation has started, outlining that the rehabilitation process is ongoing.

He commended development partners like World Bank and the Ministry of Finance for their support.

“Just few months ago, we launched a 20MW New Power Plant in Brikama”.

He noted that the roadmap is a working tool saying they are working hard to meet their energy challenges.

Other speakers included, Chris Trimble, a senior energy specialist, World Bank, and Nanny Jawara, the deputy managing director of NAWEC, who delivered the welcoming ceremony.

Author: Sheriff Janko
Source: Picture: Nawec MD Baba Fatajo