ADB to give $357m to develop two power lines

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an assistance package of over $357 million for a project to develop two power lines to help Bangladesh reach its national goal of ensuring electricity for all by 2021.

The investments comprise a $350 million ADB loan and a $7 million grant from the Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JFJCM) to partially finance new high-technology energy efficient conductors.

It also includes a $500,000 grant from the Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund (EAKPF) to promote socially inclusive growth with gender equality, the Manila-based donor said in a statement.

The Southwest Transmission Grid Expansion Project builds on ADB's previous work, including the recently approved Rupsha 800 megawatt Combined Cycle Power Plant in the southwest region.

The project will develop a 126-kilometre 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line from Barisal to Faridpur and a 104 km 400 kV transmission line from Bogra to Rohanpur along with substations, transformers and associated extensions and connections.

The new transmission lines are a new type of high temperature conductor to allow more power transfer at lower energy losses.

These have less resistance to power flow, higher power transferring capacity, and operate more reliably in tropical weather. In addition, the use of these conductors also helps to minimise right-of-way requirements.

The project is also contributing to climate change mitigation, since the new conductors reduce carbon dioxide emissions compared to conventional transmission conductors.

This climate change mitigation accounts for $93 million of the investment, comprising $86 million from the ADB loan and $7 million from the JFJCM grant.

Under the EAKPF grant, the project will fund a scholarship programme that will support women's access to higher education and boost their job opportunities in electricity industry.

The government will contribute $174.5 million to the $532 million project, due to be completed by the end of June 2023.


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