The Asian Development Bank on Monday signed agreements with the government for $616 million in loans to enhance the coverage and reliability of Bangladesh’s power systems, while improving the efficiency of the country’s distribution network.
Economic Relations Division secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and ADB country director Kazuhiko Higuchi signed the loan agreements on behalf their respective sides, at a ceremony in the city, said a release.
The Power System Enhancement and Efficiency Improvement Project will contribute to the goal of the Government of Bangladesh of providing 100 per cent access to electricity by 2021.
Kazuhiko Higuchi said ‘Nearly one million households, majority in rural areas, will be newly connected through this project.’
‘The project will also help more power transmission to the Dhaka region to meet rising demand for electricity in the largest and rapidly expanding growth centre in the country,’ he added.
The project includes rehabilitation and expansion of over 50,000 kilometres of rural distribution network across the country; the construction of a 174-km 400 kV transmission link between the southern Bangladesh and Dhaka; and installation of automated control systems for the distribution network in Dhaka.
The project will bring reliable power supply to 9,50,000 households and commercial users, including 8,75,000 households in rural areas.
In addition, the project will support project design, investment planning, and institutional strengthening of the power sector agencies.
A $2 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, financed by the Government of Japan, forms part of the project.
The grant will support establishing small businesses, especially those owned by women, with affordable and stable power supply, as well as promoting women employment in the power sector.
The total cost of the project is $1,059 million. ADB is providing a market-based loan of $600 million and a concessional loan of $16 million, with the government contributing $441 million.
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