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Friday, April 12, 2024
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WB energy specialist visits bank-funded electricity expansion projects

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By Tabora Bojang

World Bank senior energy specialist for Africa, Chris Trimble, has conducted visits to various electricity expansion project sites funded by the World Bank under the Gambia Electricity Restoration and Modernisation Project, GERMP, which aims to improve the transmission and distribution network capacity of Nawec and increase the availability and reliability of renewable energy in The Gambia.

GERMP is jointly funded by the World Bank, European Union and European Investment Bank at over $100 million. It includes design, supply and installation of a 17km 225kv high voltage network between Brikama and Jabang, 225/33kv substation in Jabang and Kotu, a National Control Centre in Brikama and upgrading the primary substations in the Greater Banjul Area with communication interfaces.

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Mr Trimble, whose visit with the team formed part of the project’s midterm review, were taken on a guided tour to these sites by Chinese contractors TBEA, officials of the Ministry of Energy and  Nawec.

Speaking to journalists after his day-long assessments, the World Bank senior official expressed optimism with the progress of the ongoing works, adding that they are envisaged to achieve universal access to electricity in The Gambia, provide stable power and to make power cleaner and affordable to the people.

 “These projects will serve as big steps towards helping Gambia achieve its target of universal access to electricity by 2025.  We hope when all this work is completed customers in the GBA should see a significant improvement in the quality of electricity. Also, people in the rural areas should start seeing electricity for the first time,” Mr Trimble added.

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The managing director of Nawec, Nani Juwara informed the visiting World Bank officials that most of the major components of the project are ongoing at an advanced pace.

He stated that GERMP will not only place Nawec on a sound footing to address the inadequacy of power supply but also help shift the company from its heavy reliance on manual methods of monitoring and switching to a modernised system to be located at the national control centre in Brikama.

“There is a lot of progress going on with the projects and we are very thankful to the World Bank for supporting us in our endeavours,” Juwara said.

GERMP project manager, Pateh Sowe informed the team the contractors have now started the procurement of equipment to complete the civil works.

“We have started the procurement of equipment and we hope the equipment will be available soon to start the installation. As we speak, all the designs are completed, we are just waiting for the equipment to complete the civil works.”

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