By Kebba Jeffang
The Senegalese electricity company (SENELEC) has agreed to supply the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) through Power Purchase Agreement in order to boost the struggling power shortage in the Gambia. This was contained in a press statement obtained from the ministry of petroleum.
According to the release, this development came after the Minister of Petroleum & Energy on Monday 3rd July, 2017 led a delegation of senior officials to Dakar, Senegal as a first step towards energy cooperation between The Gambia and Senegal.
“The outcome of the visit was the finalization of a memorandum of understanding between the two national utilities (SENELEC & NAWEC) and the initialising of a highly concessional draft Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the two Utilities to be presented for approval by their respective Boards for final signature,” it stated.
It added that the PPA deal would interconnect cross-border points of Keur Ayib (Zone 1), Karang (Zone 2), Tamba Kunda (zone 3) and supply by SENELEC immediately to NAWEC between three (3) MW to ten (10) MW and the possibility of expanding as the capacity of the network grows.
“The supply from SENELEC will significantly complement NAWEC`s efforts and very soon, most parts of rural Gambia will start enjoying 24hrs of electricity supply, a significant milestone in the rural electrification programme of government,” it indicated.
The statement informs that the Minister paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Senegal and intimated to him The Gambia Government’s aspiration to have sector wide cooperation between the two ministries of energy and petroleum.
“The objective is to align our policies, strategies and mutually defend our interest given that we all belong to the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP), Gambia River Basin Development Organisation (OMVG), Senegalo-Gambia Permanent Secretariat and the Mauritania-Senegal-Gambia-Guinea Bissau-Guinea Conakry Basin (MSGBC geological Basin),” it revealed.
According to the release, the PM of Senegal has urged both parties to expeditiously take the necessary next step of formalizing the energy and petroleum cooperation through Diplomatic Channels.