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Project Engineer - NAMA, Investing in Grid-connected Solar PV in The Gambia

Banjul (Gambia the)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Banjul (Gambia the)
  • Grade: SB-5 (SC10/SC11), Service Contract, Local Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Democratic Governance
    • Engineering
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Climate Change
    • Pharmacy
    • Renewable Energy sector
    • Impact investing, Social venture capital
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-17

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The electricity sector in the Gambia is characterized by heavy dependency on fuel imports to meet its electricity demand due to the fact that almost all electricity in the country is produced by fossil fuel oil-based generation technology (LFO (light fuel oil)/HFO (heavy fuel oil) power plants).  In the Great Banjul Area (GBA), the permanent total installed generation capacity is 88 MW based on fossil fuels of which only 62 MW are currently available. Outside the capital of Banjul, NAWEC delivers electricity through two grids (North and South grid) with 10.5 MW of total installed capacity. There is a connection from the North Grid to Senegal, which currently supplies power to the North Grid. These 2 regional grids are the focus of this NAMA Support Project (NSP) “Investing in Grid-connected Solar PV in The Gambia”.

The GHG emission reduction potential of the energy sector is described in the NDC. The potential for GHG emission reductions in renewable energy and energy efficiency is estimated at 56,000 tons in 2020, 122,000 tons in 2025 and 174,000 tons in 2030. Renewable energy is seen as a major contributor to achieving the targets defined in the NDC.

The Gambia Electricity Sector Roadmap is the main policy document for the energy sector. The Roadmap includes three different scenarios with various assumptions. Scenario 2a – the preferred scenario of the Government of The Gambia in the Roadmap - considers the availability of only HFO for the whole study period i.e. it does not consider gas being an option. Solar power is restricted by the scenario definition and hence is set at 30 MW until 2020 and then 60MW until 2025.


With a planned capacity of 10.5 MW to be implemented in Farafenni (6.0 MW) and Basse (4.5 MW), the NSP can provide 33% of the 2020 target (30 MW solar) and contribute to 17% of the 2025 target (60 MW solar).

The proposed NSP will implement a financial support mechanism (IPPs, PPA backed by guarantees) that serves to mobilize capital investments from the private and public sector in low-emission alternatives. The NSP will thereby address country specific challenges such as:

  • Low share of renewables and limited availability of electricity
  • High cost of diesel in electricity generation, imports of fossil fuels

The NSP will create transformational change by scaling up the (non-) existing generation of grid connected PV based electricity to 10.5 MW during the NSP and catalyzing up to 30 MW additional PV capacity after the NSP.

The implementation of NAMA will lead to three main outcomes, which are:

  • Through replacing electricity generated by fossil fuel-based power plants, the NSP will lead to a reduction in GHG emissions of 13,481 tons/annum (taking into account degradation over lifetime of the collectors).
  • Socio-economic benefits of various stakeholders benefiting directly from the NAMA Support Project: NAWEC staff will be trained and the capacity to develop and implement PV projects with IPPs will be increased. Consumers in the 2 grids will be gaining improvements in quality of life (e.g. sustainable energy supply to grid connected households).
  • The NSP will catalyze impacts beyond the project by long term practical use of financial mechanism for PV installation and operation. NAWEC’s capacity to implement such projects will be strengthened and will lead to a transformation of electricity generation towards renewables.

The UNDP Country Office -The Gambia in collaboration with its national implementing partners (The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources & The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy)  are seeking the services of a Gambian national for the position of project engineer for the NSP to provide support to the Project Manager to achieve specific and overall goal and objective of the project.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the project manager, the project engineer shall carry out the following functions:

  1. Supporting and advise the Project Manager (PM) on technical specifications when drafting TORs for the technical feasibility studies;
  2. Take part in the evaluation of the tender applications and contribute to the evaluation report;
  3. Participate in the post-award IPP negotiations with the utility and providing technical inputs in close coordination with the external technical expert;
  4. Provide inputs to the technical feasibility studies for solar power plants developed during the NAMA Support Project;
  5. Supervise the implementation and progress of the interconnection of the Solar PV to NAWEC rural Grids in North Bank Regional and Upper River Region to ensure conformity with the specifications in the Invitation to Bid (ITB);
  6. Supervise solar PV installation works to certify that the right specifications of the PV modules, centralized inverter(s), MV transformer (30kV/50hz), connection line to the point of delivery, including switch gear (point III) are in line with the specifications in the NAMA Support Project document;
  7. Ensure that the components and systems installed at both project sites for solar PV generation fulfil the International Electrotechnical Commission Standards (IEC), International Organization for Standardization criteria (ISO) as applicable and, European Standards (ENs) ratified by one of the three European Standardization Organizations (CEN, CENELEC or ETSI);
  8. Ensure that transmission at the points of delivery are in compliance with the ITB;
  9. Ensures that the IPP provides discrimination for faults on NAWEC’s infrastructure and have put in measures to secure the plant in an appropriate manner;
  10. Should be responsible for the overall supervision of technical works as it relates to the engineering work of the project. S/he should timely inform the PM about any defaults in the implementation of all engineering works and / or deviations from specifications stated in the ITB, and offer recommendations to the project manager for advisement;
  11. Support the Independent Power Producer (IPP) to carryout / fulfil the Environmental Impact Assessment of the project sites;
  12. Performs any such duties assigned to him/her as relevant to the supervision of the engineering works and/or are important to the achievement of the overall goals of the NAMA project implementation.  



Corporate Competencies: Integrity, Resilient and Communication skills

Functional Competencies: Technical acumen and data management



Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing


Level 6: Integrate & Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise in M&E


Level 2: Execute & Learn: Performs defined tasks efficiently and deepens knowledge of area of work

Client Orientation


Level 3: Implement & Manage: Exercises skills and knowledge independently, demonstrating ability to manage self and team responsibilities, in area of work

Development and Operational Effectiveness


Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise


Required Skills and Experience



MSc. in engineering, preferably solar PV, renewable energy or related qualifications


  • At least five years work experience in solar and / or electrical engineering, or related sector.
  • Proven knowledge of solar PV facility design, installation, maintenance and /or supervision of similar engineering work.
  • Have a fundamental background about the Gambia’s energy sector especially in relation to climate change and particularly climate change mitigation in the energy sector.
  • Proven work experience in similar projects that involve installation and maintenance of electrical grids, connection of solar PV to the national grid and monitoring of transmission and distribution infrastructures.


  • Knowledge and skills in project analysis, monitoring and reporting
  • Prepared to travel frequently to remote project sites within the country
  • Ability in utilizing computers, including word processing, spread sheet and other software packages; data base management
  • Demonstrated data collection and analytical writing skills
  • Good interpersonal skills, proficient in interacting with Government officials, international organizations and grassroots level community members


Language Requirements:


Fluent in English and at least one of the main local languages  



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