Gambia Gets EU Backing For EUR-142m Solar Power Distribution Plan

The European Union and the World Bank will support a EUR-142-million (USD 161m) solar power generation and distribution project in Gambia, it was announced today.

National electricity utility NAWEC will implement said project by connecting to the grid a 20-MW solar power plant, to be built at Jambur near Banjul, and establishing a 400-km power transmission and distribution system. The scheme will see all 1,000 schools and 100 health centres in rural parts of Gambia secure reliable energy supply through new connections to the national energy network and off-grid solar and battery systems, a press release says.

The European Investment Bank will provide a 25-year concessional loan of EUR 65 million and a further EUR 41 million will come from the EU budget in the form of a grant. In turn, the World Bank will contribute EUR 35.7 million in financing.

Presently, less than half the population of Gambia has access to electricity, while in rural parts of the country the percentage is even lower -- 15%. Gambia's current total generation capacity amounts to 98 MW.

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