The regulation of the electricity sector falls under the purview of PURA. Following the approval of the National Energy Policy in 2005, and the enactment of the Electricity Act, the electricity sector in The Gambia has seen significant improvements. The monopoly NAWEC (National Water and Electricity Company) earlier enjoyed in the generation of electricity ended with the opening of the generationmarket to the private sector. NAWEC, however still maintains its monopoly status in the distribution and transmission sectors.
Greater Banjul Area
NAWEC still maintains its Kotu Power Station as the major generating power house supported by a number of stand alone power stations in the major provincial towns. The current maximum available capacity at Kotu Power Station is 25.3 MW at peak load.
In 2006, an independent Power producer, an IPP became operational with a new power plant in Brikama with an installed capaicty of 26MW. This new injection of privately generated power resulted in major improvements in the sector. There are also two relatively small renewable IPPs introducing renewable energy in the energy mix of the country.
The Government launched the rural Electrification project in 2007 which built new power plants in all the major provincial towns. All the engines are diesel units, however another feature of the project was the contruction of extensive transmission and distribution networks in several viallges and towns in the rural areas. Electricity services were significantly improved with most localities expereinces in excess of 12 hours of electricty per day, 6hrs in the morning and 6hrs in the evennings.
The table below gives the number installed capacity in the provincial power stations.
The Table above give the Rural Power Stations and their installed capacity
Transmission and Distribution
Electricity is transmitted from Kotu Power station for distribution via five radial 11 kV feeders and three 33 kV feeders that form a ring in the GBA. The 33 kV feeders supply medium voltage substations where the voltages are transformed to 11 kV for further distribution. The Power from the IPP is injected into the high voltage 33kV line.
The highest voltage for transmission in The Gambia is 33kV. The map below shows the national transmission network operated by NAWEC.
Monitoring and Inspection
PURA regularly conducts site visits to all the power plants to inspect quality of service delivery and also monitor health and safety standards. The picture below , taken in Karantaba, Lower River Division, illustrates a typical encounter between PURA and NAWEC staff during a monitoring exercise.