The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will give $310 million loan to further boost Bangladesh’s power supply system, and reduce power outages and shortages.
Saifuddin Ahmed, a joint secretary at the Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Stefan Ekelund, ADB deputy country director, signed the agreement at ADB’s Dhaka office.
An ADB statement said the assistance is the second tranche of its financing under an overall multi-donor-supported project named Power System Expansion and Efficiency Improvement Investment Programme of $1.6 billion, with ADB contributing $700 million.
The other co-financiers supporting the programme include Agence Française de Développement, the European Investment Bank, and the Islamic Development Bank, the statement said.
According to the ADB statement, the credit programme is aimed at increasing power transfer from Ghorasal to Tongi and transmission capability to satisfy the increasing demand in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet areas.
The investments will also allow improved distribution networks in the Dhaka region to meet increasing demand in the system to ensure no load-shedding due to network constraints by 2018, the statement added.
“Deficiencies in power generation, supply and distribution are constraining businesses and undermining people’s quality of life, with poor communities suffering the most,” said Stefan Ekelund. “Increased access to power and energy is critical for further growth and development of Bangladesh.”
Investment in recent years has substantially improved Bangladesh’s power supply network, but about half the population still have no access to electricity, the ADB statement said.
It also said, demand is rising, and is already nearly double the current generating capacity. The cost of supply interruptions to the economy is estimated at around 0.5 percent of annual gross domestic product.