DHAKA, BANGLADESH (29 March 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved loans totaling $616 million to enhance the coverage and reliability of Bangladesh’s power systems, while improving the efficiency of the country’s distribution network.

The ADB assistance, which will fund the Bangladesh Power System Enhancement and Efficiency Improvement Project, is comprised of a concessional loan of $16 million and a market-based loan of $600 million. A $2 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, financed by the Government of Japan, is a part of the project.

“With Bangladesh’s continuous growth and development, the demand for power is also growing at a rapid pace. There is a need not only to increase energy generation but also to invest in the transmission and distribution network to deliver reliable power effectively to customers across the country,” said Len George, an ADB Energy Specialist. “The project will contribute significantly to this effort and help Bangladesh achieve its growth potential in a sustainable and inclusive way.”

Meeting the need for reliable and affordable electricity is a challenge for Bangladesh as the country seeks to consolidate its transition to middle-income country status by 2021. Apart from addressing infrastructure constraints and improving the country’s transmission and distribution networks, the project will also support productive energy usage in rural areas, enhanced safety for customers, improvements in rural distribution management, and interventions to support women employees in the power sector.

The project includes the construction of a 174 kilometer (km) high-voltage, 400 kV transmission link between southern Bangladesh and Dhaka, design and installation of control and automation systems to improve the distribution network in areas serviced by the Dhaka Electricity Supply Company, rehabilitation and expansion of over 50,000 km of rural distribution network across the country, and support on project design, investment planning, and regulatory compliance in the power sector agencies.

The project will contribute to the Government of Bangladesh’s goal of giving people 100% access to power by 2021, with about 875,000 households benefiting from the distribution investments by 2020. The total cost of the project is $1.059 billion, with the government contributing $441 million in counterpart funding. 

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

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