By Yankuba Jallow

The National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), yesterday signed a 30 megawatt power supply contract with Turkish Company, Karpower.

The ceremony took place on Monday 12th February 2018, at the Ministry of Petroleum in Brusubi. The contract according to the authorities is a mutual agreement that will last for 2 years.

The Minister of Energy Fafa Sanyang, said the agreement is a milestone drive for government to provide reliable, sustainable and affordable energy supply to the people of the Gambia for sustainable economic growth and development; that for over 52 years since the Gambia gained independence, the energy sector continues to be a major challenge prompting the Barrow led government to recognize the urgency to transform and modernize the energy sector and have a lasting solution to the energy problem.

Minister Sanyang said the signing of the contract is a short-term plan to improve capacity on the energy sector roadmap. The objective he said is for NAWEC to rehabilitate, repair and maintain the implementation of ongoing projects that will eliminate the energy constraints.

The Managing Director of NAWEC Baba Fatajo on his part, said NAWEC and partners want to provide a durable solution to the energy constraints and the contract with Karpower, will formalise the commencement of work for the installation of the 30 megawatt rental plan for injection into the power grid as a short term measure. Mr. Fatajo said the challenge that NAWEC faces include lack of adequate resources for the required investment in the energy sector, generating huge losses as a result; that such contracts will help the Company to improve in service delivery and plead to esteemed customers for a timely and effective payment of utility bills.

Mehmet Katmer from Karpower said the contract requires them to work together with NAWEC to achieve the common goal of delivering a sustainable utility service to the Gambia people.  He said the navigable energy supply will be used for the energy supply and this will arrive Banjul in three weeks; that together with their local partner, NAWEC, supply should start in seven weeks; that Karpower is confident to fulfil by supplying as agreed and provide a successful energy supply.

The Chairman of the board of directors of NAWEC, Aki Allen, said the agreement will bring hope to the Nation’s Utility organization as an emergency power supply in the country; that the injection of 30 megawatt into the system will go a long way to stabilise the energy supply for the nation; that the deal is collaborative effort of NAWEC, the Government of the Gambia and stakeholders; that the board continues to task NAWEC to increase on efficiency in operation and service delivery.

Mr. Allen added that several measures both short and long term plans have been proposed to realize Government’s objective in the energy sector.

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