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NAWEC Gambia Limited
Contact Address Details:

National Water & Electricity Company Ltd.

Banjul area Head Office
53 Mamady Manjang Highway
Kanifing Municipality, Kmc
PO Box 609, Banjul
The Gambia, West Africa

Tel no: 4375958
            4376607, 4392218

Fax:     4375990


Power Station location: Kotu Quarry.
Enquiries & Complaints: Tel: 169 (24 hours)
Head Office, Fajara M Section

NAWEC 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.

Private Involvement:
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.

Operational Problems:
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 (GBA).

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 Policy
Electricity Law Enacted

No. of Employees:
Description: Staff numbers:
Permanent 837
Contract 12
Casual 135

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Electrical Distribution Structure:
Kotu Power StationIn 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.

Water Provision:
Tap waterNawec 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.


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