By Maimuna Sey- Jawo
The National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) and Sinohydro Corporation Company a Chinese company on Friday signed a 165Million US Dollar project at a ceremony held at a local hotel in Senegambia.
The project is designed to provide a new HFO Power plant 60MW as a medium intervention in the electricity sub-sector in order to provide adequate and stable power supply in the Greater Banjul Area and beyond and also lay the foundation for regional interconnection using OMVG energy project and the West African Power Pool.
Speaking at the signing ceremony the Minister of Energy and Petroleum Fafa Sanyang said if the project is successfully implemented, it will have wide ranging effects on the economy, which include increased access to electricity, stable and affordable power supply resulting to the establishment of more industries and businesses, employment creation, poverty alleviation and overall socio-economic advancement.
The Minister added that the signing ceremony sets the right precedent for fruitful partnership between NAWEC and Sinohydro that will be marked by action on the part of the parties for urgent and effective implementation of the project.
For her part the Vice President of Sinohydro in West and Central Africa Lui Xiaomin said Sinohydro is a Chinese state corporation, which is ranked Number 1 in the fields of hydroelectricity, thermal energy, renewable energies with a great expertise in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of energy generation and transmission facilities.
“The signing ceremony today was finalized after series of consultations on both technical and financial proposals bearing in mind NAWEC’s identified needs,” he said.
She further disclosed that the technical component of the project that was finalized includes Generation component of heavy duty fuel, oil power plant, transmission and distribution lines and, as well as high and medium voltage substations.
Lui Xiaomin stated that the proposed plant, transmission and distribution facilities will be integrated with the existing power supply systems to provide an overall automated system. The financial proposal she noted was also agreed upon with the incorporation of general items, power plant, substation works, power transmission and distribution works with optical communication equipment, training and spare parts for 24000hrs operation and contingencies.
The Managing Director of NAWEC Baba Fatajo underscored the significant of the ceremony, adding that the project was a result of the bilateral corporation between the People’s Republic of China and The Gambia.
The NAWEC MD added that following critical needs assessment of priority intervention areas of the economy, the government of the brotherly republic of China through the government of the Gambia accepted to intervene in the energy sub-sector in view of its multiplier effect on the rest of the economy by developing a 62MW project in terms of additional generating capacity as well as other commensurate interventions in the refurbishment and expansion of our transmission and distribution network.
“This project once realized will be a whole game changer in the power supply situation of this country. Its scope of intervention is not only unprecedented but will go a long way in modernizing our entire electricity generation and network as we could operate on more efficient generator sets as well as significantly reduce our technical losses, which continue to be a major challenge for NAWEC,” Fatajo added with great enthusiasm.