The managing director of the national energy company has revealed plans to ensure 24-hour energy supply to all their existing customers throughout the country before the end of 2018.
The National Water and Electricity Company, which starts the year on a struggling path with a D9 billion debt, currently serves only 42% of the country’s population.
The Managing Director, Baba Fatajo, told journalists at a press conference on Thursday that they have now “achieved stability that we have all been working for”.
“…We are hoping that before the end of this year, we will have 24-hours of electricity supply throughout the whole country. This is something we are working on and we are optimistic that it is possible within the year,” Fatajo said.
“As we speak, on the side of the power generation, we have been able to meet the demand… And in fact, some of our plants are idle because of the fact that we have more than enough capacity in relation to the demand…”
By end of 2016 to the beginning of 2017, the energy company has faced severe crisis leading to a number of planned protest by citizens.
However, the company which was operating on more than half its required capacity had to contract the Senegalese energy company, Senelec, and Turkish energy company, Karpowership, for a power-purchase arrangement.
Senelec has connected to the rural Gambia, most of where is enjoying 24-hour electricity while Karpowership injected 36 megawatts into the national grid.
Fatajo said based of these arrangements and their own improvements in power generation, they will “double our capacity in Basse and Farafenni…”
“Greater Nuimi Area is also having 24 hours of electricity… Through our rural electrification project also, we are extending the line in Kerewan and also between Illiasa and Farafenni… We hope that in the next few weeks, the entire north bank will be having access to 24-hour electricity.
“9 megawatts is in service at Brikama, we are now on the commissioning of 11 megawatts at Kotu and 6 megawatts is also being commission at Brikama…
“We are on a grid extension project and a lot of communities within the Greater Banjul Area will be connected within 1 year to 18 months. Part of Kiang will also benefit from the project…”
Fatajo said the company’s focus is now “shifted from power generation to transmission and distribution where we have challenges…”
However, Fatajo admitted the public institution is facing significant challenges in the area of water generation and distribution.
Meanwhile, Fatajo has also revealed plans by NAWEC to invest in 200 megawatts of solar plants at around Jarra Soma.
According to their energy roadmap, Nawec plans to have universal energy access in the country by 2025.