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.
Currently the following compnaies participate in the electricity sector in The Gambia:
1. National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC):
NAWEC is a company wholly owned by the government mandated to provide electricity and water to industry and Gambians. It has its origins from GUC which was the first public cooperation on electricity and water services in the year 1972, when the Gambia Utilities Corporation Act created the GUC.
GUC was formally dissolved in 1993 and the Utilities Holding Corporation (UHC) inherited the assets and management of GUC. The operations were outsourced to Management Services Gambia Ltd, MSG initially but in 1996 NAWEC was created as a public company registered under the Companies Act of 1955.
NAWEC is involved in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity all over The Gambia. NAWEC operates several facilities for both power generation and water production and treatment as the following locations>
GBA Power Stations: Kotu Power Station, Brikama Power Station
Rural Power Stations: Barra , Kerewan, Kaur, Farrafeni, Soma, Bansang, Basse
Water Treatment Plants: Serrekunda, Fajara, Sukuta and Brikama
National Water & Electricity Company Ltd. Mamady Maniang Highway PO Box 609 (Banjul)
Kanifing The Gambia
Tel: 4376606/7, 4392218
2. Independent Power Production:
Global Electric Company (GEG) is a privately owned company producing electricity under the Electricity Act. GEG has one power plant located in Brikama Kabafita. The power plant has a total installed of 25MW using HFO as the primary fuel. It was commissioned in 2006.
Power Station: Brikama
Standard Chartered Building
GAMWIND is an independent power producer operating the first large scale grid tied wind park in The Gambia. The company was lincensed in Febraury 2012 and started operations in August 2012. The wind park has a capacity of 900kW. The project was a collaboration between the private developers and UNIDO.
Power Station: Tanji Wind Park
PO Box 4507
In the Village of Batakunku in Kombo South, a pilot project is being carried out where electricity is distributed within the Village using Wind Energy. the project was inaugurated in 2009 and uses a 150kVA wind turbine to produce electricity. The project is an an example of community run energy service provision and the village buys and sells power to and from the grid based on the level of consumption as well as the amount of wind energy produced.
Batakunku Wind Energy Project
Village Development Committee
c/o Peter Weisfeldt
One aspect of electricity is that safety is very important. PURA’s work in this field involves raising awareness for both consumers and also operators. The Health & Safety Guidelines 2007 has been developed and work is also being done with institutions like the National Training Authority to ensure that those that provide support services have the necessary competence through skills aquisition.
This is not only in their own interest but also to protect consumers as well from electrical hazards.
Electricity is a very useful source of energy, but it is also very dangerous if used wrongly and must therefore be always handled with care AT ALL TIMES
Do’s and Don’ts About Electricity
DO NOT insert metallic objects into electrical outlets (e.g. sockets)! DO NOT overload sockets or connect adapters upon adaptors! DO NOT operate switches with wet hands*! DO NOT allow children to operate or play with switches/sockets! DO NOT use appliances with broken cables or cords! DO NOT allow electric cables to lie about on the floor where they can be kicked! DO NOT yank extension cables out of sockets. Pullout the plug head instead! DO NOT connect appliances like Kettles near taps in the kitchen!
BEWARE when operating electrical appliances in the bathroom!
Brought to you by The Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA)
Promoting Equity in Development through Professionalism and Partnership