The World Bank (WB) today approved US$ 600 million in concessional financing to improve the quality of electricity supply in the rural areas in the eastern part of Bangladesh.
The Rural Electricity Transmission and Distribution Project financed by the WB aims to reduce system losses and enhance capacity in the electricity network in rural Bangladesh, said a press release from the bank’s headquarters in Washington DC.
The project will reduce technical losses in the rural grid electricity system and will help to ensure that a greater percentage of electricity generated is reached to rural consumers, it added.
It will also contribute to improve quality and reliability of power supply to 25 million people in rural Bangladesh.
“Access to electricity is positively correlated with increase in growth, education and prosperity. It increases women’s mobility and participation in decision- making process,” said Johannes Zutt, WB Country Director for Bangladesh and Nepal.
“By improving efficiency of the system so that more electricity can be reached in the rural areas, the project will contribute to reduce poverty and create employment and economic opportunities for millions of rural people,” he added.
Only 42 percent of the rural population currently has access to electricity in Bangladesh, the press release said.
The project will support new lines and substations as well as upgrade existing lines in the rural areas of Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet divisions.
The investments made through the project to reduce system losses will simultaneously augment the capacity of the network to carry more electricity when the power generation constrains are addressed.