Gambia launches US$23m electricity project to benefit 685 communities

GAMBIA – The Gambian Vice President has laid the foundation stone for the Greater Banjul Area (GBA) Transmission and Distribution Modernisation Project at the Salagi Forest Park which is part of its plan to meet the target of Energy for all.

The project is co-funded by the World Bank, European Union, and European Investment Bank as part of The Gambia’s Electricity Restoration and Modernisation Project (GERMP) at a total project cost of US$23 million, with the contract awarded to TBEA, a Chinese company.

Fafa Sanyang, the country’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy said The Gambia Electricity Restoration and Modernisation Project (GERMP) has been designed to support the implementation of immediate priority investments to restore the delivery of electricity services in targeted municipal and regional areas and complements fiscal stabilisation efforts.

He stated that the Electricity Sector Road Map, approved by Cabinet in October 2017, casts a vision to modernise the energy sector for a new Gambia and move toward 24/7 access to electricity for all Gambians.

According to minister, the inauguration manifests the enormous efforts by the government to modernise our transmission and distribution infrastructure in the Greater Banjul Area.

The project is funded by the World Bank with government’s contribution of US$2.5 million to compensate the affected land and property owners on the way for the transmission line.

The minister further revealed that the government has mobilised significant financial resources with the support of multilateral and bilateral partners to extend universal access to the entire country by 2025.

Nani Juwara, the managing director of Gambia National Water and Electric Company (NAWEC) said the contract for the project includes the design, supply, and installation of a 17KM 225kV high voltage transmission line from Brikama to Jabang, and 225kV/ 33kV substation in Jabang, 33kV substation in Kotu with additional 33kV lines to be constructed to interface with the existing network.

He outlined that the objective of the project is to transform and enhance the transmission and distribution capability to NAWEC to international standard and will also improve NAWEC’s dispatching capacity, reduce technical losses, improve network stability, and enable utility to incorporate more renewable energy sources into the grid.

“The project is co-funded by the World Bank, European Union, and European Investment Bank as part of The Gambia’s Electricity Restoration and Modernisation Project at a total project cost of US$23 million”

As part of efforts to achieve universal access to electricity by 2025, he said NAWEC and MBH POWER have signed a contract for the Laminkoto/ Diabugu back borne project covering over 46 communities and works are expected to commence before the end of this year as their target is to cover over 685 communities countrywide to have access to electricity in the next 36 months.

On his part, H.E. Ma Jianchun, ambassador of China to The Gambia, said electricity is the main engine for the economic development, as well as one of the significant areas of Gambia’s “National Development Plan (2018-2021)”.

“Gambia’s electricity sector has seen tremendous development in recent years, by which it provides more possibilities for the improvements of people’s living standards and growth of socio-economic development. We are delighted to witness that the EPC project of Transmission Infrastructures in Greater Banjul Area commenced today is a model of international cooperation. The project is planned by the Gambian government, co-funded by the World Bank, European Investment Bank and European Union, designed and constructed by Chinese Company,” he noted.

He detailed that the Chinese company-TBEA, responsible for the design and implementation of this project, is a large-scale international energy company and service provider and as one of the Chinese brands, TBEA commits to share the international advanced power technology, China’s high-end product manufacturing and power construction experiences with the world.

“We strongly believe that under the unremitting efforts of the Gambian government and the Gambian people, and with the cooperation of the international development partners, the electricity infrastructure and energy sector of The Gambia will be further improved,” he said.

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