On successful completion of the €142 million initiative, Gambia will be the first country in Africa to have provided renewable energy electrification for all public school and health facilities, according to the EU. Pictured are representatives from the EIB, EU and Gambian government signing the financing support agreement. (Photo Credit: EIB)
- Gambia’s efforts to increase energy supply in the country will be supported by the EIB, World Bank and EU under a €142 million ($160.86 million) initiative
- Under the programme, Gambia will run its 1,000 rural schools and 100 health centres by increasing number of connections to the national energy network, and through off-grid solar and battery technology
- A 20 MW solar power plant will be set up at Jambur near Banjul and 400 kilometer of new power transmission and distribution infrastructure will also be laid under the plan
- The implementing agency of this plan will be national utility, National Water and Electricity Company Ltd (NAWEC)
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Gambia has found financial support from the European Investment Bank (EIB), World Bank and European Union (EU) to increase energy supply in the African country and set up a new 20 MW solar power plant, among other objectives to be achieved under a €142 million ($160.86 million) initiative.
Through the Gambian Renewable Energy Program, these financing agencies will help Gambia become the first country in the world to ensure all its 1,000 rural schools and 100 health centres will run with new connections to the national energy network and off-grid solar and battery technology.
A 20 MW solar power plant at Jambur near Banjul and 400 km of new power transmission and distribution infrastructure is also part of the plan. According to the EIB, once operational, the scheme will increase energy supply in the country by one-fifth and transform electricity access in rural communities.
National electricity utility National Water and Electricity Company Ltd (NAWEC) will be responsible for implementing the clean energy program, said EIB. The utility will also be supported with feasibility and environmental studies, technical training, new infrastructure to connect social services and regulatory assistance to allow renewable energy to be supplied to it.
“Gambia will be the first country in Africa, if not the only country in the world, to have provided renewable energy electrification for all public school and health facilities. The project is designed to assure the sustainable provision of electricity powered by the solar systems for at least 20 years and to lay the groundwork for a national solar energy industry to provide additional services in the future,” said European Union Ambassador to the Republic of Gambia, Attila Lajos.
While EIB is offering €65 million ($73.6 million) in financial support for the program, EU is pitching in with €106 million ($120 million), and the World Bank is shelling out €35.7 million ($40.4 million). This is the first time EIB is engaging in Gambia since 1991.
A heavy fuel oil (HFO) dependent economy, Gambia is also working on a Gambia Electricity Restoration and Modernization Project (GERMP) under which it sought consultancy services for a solar PV plant with storage and 132 kV transmission line in Greater Banjul area in September 2018 (see Gambia Seeks Consultant For PV+Storage Project).