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Govt. gets US$12m loan for power expansion

Sep 25, 2012, 9:50 AM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

Deputies at the National Assembly Monday considered and ratified the Kotu power generation expansion project loan agreement between the Republic of The Gambia and the OPEC Fund for International Development to the tune of US$12 million.

The loan agreement, signed on 9th July 2012, forms part of a co-financing arrangement to participate in the financing of the project.

Earlier in April this year, at a side meeting during the Islamic Development Bank Group (37) Annual Meeting held in Khartoum, Sudan, the Gambia government and the Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA) signed a loan agreement worth US$ 9 million to participate in the financing of the same project.

“The 11MW project will, no doubt, add to the much-needed generation capacity of the Greater Banjul Area currently at 70MW, thereby not only relieving power outages and the inadequate supply, but also providing access to un-electrified communities, thus combating poverty,” Abdou Kolley, minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, told deputies while moving the motion.

The loan, which is to be repaid over a period of 20 years, including a grace period of 5 years, has an annual interest rate of 1.25 percent and a service fee of 1 percent.

According to Finance minister Kolley, the current loan agreement will thus close the funding gap and pave the way for effective implementation of the project.

“The facility is a highly concessional one and within our borrowing limits,” Kolley further stated.