President Adama Barrow has officially laid the foundation stone of the Gambia River Basin Development Organisation's (OMVG) Energy Project's Interconnection Component, which will house a substation in Jarra Soma, Lower River Region.
The OMVG is a sub-regional organisation that was co-founded by former Senegalese Poet-President Leopold Senghor, and Gambia's first President Dawda K Jawara, in the 1970’s, reports Foroyaa.
The organisation consist of The Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.
The OMVG Energy Project aims to reinforce regional integration and cooperation by using and exploiting the shared hydroelectric resources in The Gambia, Kayanga-Geba and Koliba-Corubal river basins.
According to President Barrow, the Soma substation is expected to increase the current 40% electricity access to 60%, when completed. Read more: OMVG interconnection on course to connect The Gambia by 2019
He also revealed some of the measure that government has taken to boost electricity supply.
"As a short term measure for example, our national energy capacity has been expanded through maintenance and rehabilitation of existing engines, which has been augmented by procurement of new machines. The current Energy Purchase Agreement for Rural Gambia, complements these efforts," Barrow said.
OMVG interconnection project
He noted that electricity is a major catalyst for national development, which the OMVG has recognised to enhance, and support the development of an appropriate energy sector in member countries.
"Thus in February 2017, the out-going chairperson Professor Alpha Conde on behalf of the Heads of States of the OMVG, launched a major Interconnection Project covering a transmission line of 1,677 km and 15 substations, at Kaleta in Guinea," he said.
Of these substations, two would be in The Gambia, five in Guinea Conakry, four in Guinea-Bissau and four in Senegal.
Out of the 1,677 km of transmission line, 183 km is accorded to Gambia, 575 in Guinea, 218 km in Guinea-Bissau and 701 km in Senegal.
"The Soma substation is designed to link the Eastern and Northern part of the Gambia through the NAWEC interconnection networks and stands to revitalize relations and strengthen regional solidarity," the President stated.