Petroleum minister calls for patience over electricity instability

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The minister of Petroleum and Energy, Fafa Sanyang, yesterday at the petroleum house urged the Gambian population to be patient with the energy instability in the country.

Minister Sanyang was speaking at a presentation by the German engineers the equipment to the country’s energy sector. The team was in the country to work Gambian engineers with the view to diagnose the electricity problem and fine solution to it. 

 “You are welcome to The Gambia once again and it is undoubted that now is the time we need your assistant the most” he said.

He lamented that when the new government took over; they inherited problems which includes the power sector, adding that it is the priority of the government not to just fix the problem for a short period of time but to look for a lasting solution to the problem.

“That is why we first assessed the situation to figure out the problem, where we are, what we want to achieve and how to go about it” he added.

According to the minister, this leads to the development of The Gambia electricity roadmap and the roadmap which clearly defines the way forward after assessing the situation and one of the emergency actions to take is to look at the emergency plan to see how they can deal with what they are having.

“We have engines which are old but some are running efficiently and NAWEC is not also in a very good shape. So we have to work on that immediately that is why we have a road map to see how we can at least normalise the situation’ he emphasised.

Minister Sanyang added that: “We may not be able to get 24 hour electricity but at least to be able to achieve good part of what is on board.

He revealed that among the plans they made is to rehabilitate their engines which they are doing on their own and also to see how they can reduce the pressure on NAWEC supplying electricity in other parts of the country which triggered them to go into power imported from Senegal to the provinces.

“It is also in the emergency plan on how to get power generation to increase capacity to add to what we have (NAWEC) because the engines are old and even though there are improvement, the situation is still fragile” the minister stressed.

He further lamented on the long terms plans, saying that it is where the private sectors will come in to build power plants, the plans to have energy mix with renewable as well as hydro power imported from Guinea.

When we received the President of Germany, we made bilateral discussions on emergency plan and also long term plans where the German companies are invited to come and invest in The Gambia on the energy sector.

“Immediately after the German President departed, NAWEC started looking at assisting the situation and they have already given a profile of all the engines that have a problem and the spare parts needed for those engines which has helped the German engineering team a lot in their work” he concluded.

Author: Fatou B. Cham