The Gambia’s National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) has signed an electricity supply deal with Turkish company, Karpower that will last two years.
The 30 megawatts power supply agreement was signed on 12th February 2018 at the Ministry of Petroleum in Brusubi. The deal is a bid and short-term plan to improve the capacity on the energy roadmap sector. Gambia’s energy company currently generates only on 70 megawatts which provides electricity to only 42 percent of the country’s population.
Gambian Minister of Energy Fafa Sanyang said: “This is a welcoming development especially at this time when we are struggling to improve our national energy supply.” Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister of Energy Fafa Sanyang said that the agreement is significant in the Government’s drive towards providing a reliable, sustainable and affordable energy supply to Gambians for sustainable economic growth and development.
He also said: “The objective is to allow NAWEC to rehabilitate, repair and maintain implementation of its ongoing project to eliminate its energy constraints.”
The signing of the deal comes just after the Barrow administration vowed to resolve the energy crisis in the country because, since the country’s independence, they acknowledge that developing the energy sector has been a major challenge. The new government and development partners recognise the urgency to modernise and transform the energy sector.
The Managing Director of NAWEC, Baba Fatajo said: “We will exhaust all measures in ensuring that we improve our service delivery.”
The deal is a collaborative effort of NAWEC, the government of Gambia and other stakeholders. “It will bring hope to the nation’s utility organisation as an emergency power supply in the country,” the chairman of the board of directors of NAWEC, Aki Allen said.
Mehmet Katmer, Karpower’s coordinator who signed the deal, said that the contract requires them to work together with NAWEC to achieve the common goal of delivering a sustainable utility service to Gambians.
The temporary solution is expected to help the country address and improve their service delivery. However, this is the second time Gambia has signed a purchase power supply deal. The cost of the deal is yet to be disclosed but Minister Fafa Sanyang said that the deal will buy the national energy company time to work on its old generators and improve its efficiency.
The Turkish power supply ship is expected to arrive in Banjul in 3 weeks and is expected to start operations within 7 weeks after signing the purchase agreement.