Gambia Ltd. is the country's main utilities supplier.
It was incorporated in June, 1996 as a company limited
by shares under the Companies Act of 1955. Its main
Kotu Power Station is the principal generator serving
the Greater Banjul Area in the Kanifing Municipality.
Nawec is involved in the generation and provision of
electricity, drinking water & sewerage services
for domestic, industrial & commercial uses. The
regulatory authority, PURA, has the mandate to regulate
the electricity and water markets in the Gambia.
The creation of Nawec can be followed back to the year
1972, when the Gambia Utilities Corporation Act created
the GUC to supply and conserve electricity and water
for the general public, industry and domestic households.
GUC was formally dissolved in 1993 following a Presidential
Executive Order. The Management Services Gambia Ltd.
(MSG) and the Utilities Holding Corporation (UHC) were
asked to take over the functions of GUC. Under the new
agreement the responsibility of managing the asset's
profitability was given UHC while MSG (owned by a French
company, SOGEA) was awarded the operating lease. MSG's
lease was ended by the Government on the 23 February,
1995 thereby leaving the management of assets and operations
to UHC. In June 1996 MSG and UHC had amalgamated to
form the NAWEC we know today.
It has an authorized share capital of D500 million (50
million shares valued at D10 per share). The government
currently owns 92.7% of the fully paid shares, SSHFC
5.8% and GPA 1.5%. The intention was for NAWEC to be
owned 97% by government. Once the shareholders pay the
original designated amounts the percentage shareholding
will be as originally contemplated.
Potential Divestiture Strategies:-
Public / Private Partnerships (PPPs)
Independent Power Producers (IPPs)
Privatize billing & other support services
In 2006 the Electricity Law was passed that has opened
up the generation component of the electricity sector
to private investors and an Independent Power Project
(IPP) of 23MW capacity was expected to begin power generation
in July / August 2006. The law also allows for private
sector participation in the distribution of electricity.
In October, 2006 the Gambia Government announced that
it had signed a 5-year contract, its first Power Purchase
Agreement (PPA), on on Friday 28th September, 2006,
with Global Management System, and Independent Power
Provider, to take over electricity generation only from
Nawec. The director of GMS is Muhammad Bazzi.
As a public enterprise, it was not operating on a commercial
basis and couldn't generate sufficient financial revenues
to maintain and upgrade the systems & infrastructure.
Supplying electricity on a commercial basis is marked
by a number of problems. These include under-investment,
an inflexible tariff system, rising fuel prices, distribution
and transmission losses and non-payment of large bill
arrears particularly by large commercial & industrial
consumers. As a result, the company has huge difficulties
in meeting its operating costs, investing in generation
capacity expansion and replacing obsolete equipment.
Despite the fact that NAWEC has managed to achieve financial
sustainability for its normal operations, it has limited
resources to properly expand the electricity system.
As a result the system is not robust enough to meet
the growing demand and requires significant investment
to operate efficiently.
Local Generating Capacity:
In the rural areas, NAWEC is operating 6 small scale
power systems served by stand-alone electricity subsystems
in the provincial centres of Bansang (420KW), Janjanbureh
(270KW), Kerewan (142KW), Basse (640KW), Farafenni (400KW),
Mansakonko (400KW). Juffureh and Kamuna are smaller
stations that serve NAWEC's water reticulation systems
in their respective areas. The total installed capacity
is 2.272 MW at these power stations and is often less
than the total instantaneous demand, whose peak is estimated
to be about 2.8 MW in 1999. These power stations operate
on diesel generator sets that feed into isolated medium
and low voltage networks which when available, supply
electricity for 12 - 15 hours a day. These systems lack
sufficient installed capacity. These centres are also
not self-sustaining in terms of revenue and depend on
subsidy revenues generated in the Greater Banjul Area
Besides only serving a small customer base of 2,640
customers, the provincial power stations provide the
essential electricity supply for the water reticulation
systems in Farafenni, Basse, Bansang, Mansakonko,
Jangjanbureh, and Kerewan. At present, a Rural
Electrification Project is underway and has entered
its final phase.
Legal Framework & Sector Policy:
• Draft Energy
• Electricity Law Enacted
Electrical Distribution Structure:
In Gambia electrical power is by thermal transmission
and is transmitted for distribution via 5 radial 11-kilo
volt (kv) feeders and three 33 kv feeders that form
a ring in the GBA. The 33 kv feeders feed medium voltage
substations where the voltages are transformed to 11
kv for distribution.
NAWEC'S generating capacity is located in one major
power station on land in Kotu in the Greater Banjul
and stand alone stations in the provincial towns.
The current maximum available capacity at Kotu Power
Station is 25.3 MW at peak load times. Most of the generators
at Kotu use Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), which is contributing
to foreign exchange difficulties in meeting the country’s
import needs and the negative environment impacts from
the emission of greenhouse gases.
The provincial generators are run on diesel fuel. The
provincial inland energy networks are not connected
to the Kotu transmission system. By end of 2005, NAWEC
had a total customer base of 54,976 in 990 zones grouped
into 6 categories.
Nawec is also responsible for the supply and conservation
of potable water. Its activities are largely confined
in the GBA and the ten Provincial Growth Centres. Water
in the GBA is obtained from the underground water table.
In the 5 administrative regions, potable water service
delivery is as the need arises, and is provided by numerous
bodies using various techniques. The Area Councils have
legal responsibility for water supply but resource limitations
and technical capacity means that services are primarily
delivered through specific donor funded projects and
UN funded projects.
In 2005 12,689 cubic metres of water was sold representing
a negative growth rate of - 6.26. The drop in sales
could either be attributed to losses in the reticulation
system or illegal connections. In the same year D89,378,992.78
was collected in revenues. The following table shows
the various well fields and the number of boreholes
in each well field.
The only sewerage systems in The Gambia can be found
in the capital at Banjul, and few hotels in the Kanifing
Municipality (KMC). Banjul has about 3,000 customers
and total turnover in 2005 was D4 million. The sewage
service delivery system is heavily subsidised by the
other divisions of NAWEC, such as electricity, since
its revenues cannot cover its operational running costs.
The company's policy is that it is the customer’s responsibility
to protect themselves against losses through leakage
after the water meter.
On the 5th December, 2007 it was announced that the
National Electric Power Company of Jordan (NEPCO) would
assist in the upgrading of the electricity sector under
a $310,000 agreement.
In the middle of March, 2009, the government of The
Gambia, in conjunction with NAWEC, purchased two new
50 megawatt generators to increase the national energy
supplier’s electricity generating power. The machines
were transported to Brikama Power Plant for installation.