The managing director of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), Nani Juwara has said that despite the challenges, he is optimistic of providing more reliable and stable energy supply in the country than in the past.
Mr. Juwara while speaking in an exclusive interview with The Point revealed that as of now, the company has more generation capacity available as opposed to the demand.
“We can courteously tell the public that we are optimistic that power supply going forward would be more reliable and stable than in the past. As we speak we have more generation capacity available now as opposed to the demand.”
MD Juwara was quick to add that they are still faced with problems in the transmission and diffusion network, but noted that they are doing everything possible to address the situation.
Mr. Juwara who was appointed NAWEC MD after the removal of Robinson in July stated that going forward, there is a lot of hope especially after the implementation of the ongoing projects that the issue of instability of electricity will definitely and significantly go down.
“It might not be 100% because it is difficult for any country, especially a third-world country. But we are very optimistic that we have a number of projects that are all geared towards resolving the energy problems in the country.”
According to him, the problem of water and electricity in the Gambia is a historical problem, noting that a lot of efforts have been put into the sector to be able to stabilise the menace.
Unfortunately, he added, over time, NAWEC could not meet the expected source of the public; and that is to ensure that there is reliable supply of both water and electricity.
“The reason for these problems is because the sector did not receive the investment that it really needed in the past and as such; we have a lot of old infrastructure that we are trying to be able to maintain to meet the stability and demands of the consumers.”
He revealed that it has been very challenging for them in the sector because they have a lot of old generators for electricity supply.
“Most of the generators we are operating right now are old and the few new ones we have could not meet the demands of the people in the past. Some of the old ones we are also operating have some issues with maintenance. But from July of this year, we have put a lot of effort into bringing back some of the old generators that were down for over one year back for operation.”
Mr. Juwara noted that three out of the five generators that were down are now repaired and are available for operations.
“In addition to those three that we have added to our capacity, I am happy to report that we are able to commission the new power plant in Brikama called “Brikama Three”. We also have two new generators of each 10MW, which totals to 20MW and the commission of those new generators are now completed.”
He explained that when the total available capacity is added as opposed to the demand that the consumers will need; “I think we can say that we are meeting the demand and even having some speeding reserve. This means we have enough supply now for the electricity as compared to the demand.”