MANILA, PHILIPPINES (30 November 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $160 million loan to Bangladesh to help upgrade Dhaka’s power distribution network, enhancing its efficiency and increasing energy supply.

Experiencing rapid urbanization, Dhaka is projected to have growing energy demand of 10% annually until 2042. A new and bigger Dhaka International Airport terminal and several mass rapid rail lines are being built, which will require more and efficient power supply. The Government of Bangladesh has targeted to double energy generation capacity by 2030.

“ADB supports the government in providing reliable electricity supply to its rapidly expanding capital city while achieving its climate goals. Improved energy efficiency of its existing power supply is part of Bangladesh’s nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement,” said ADB Principal Energy Specialist Roka Sanda. “By modernizing aged and overloaded power infrastructure with climate-resilient features, the project will optimize power usage, reduce wastage, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.”

Increasing energy efficiency through this project is expected to reduce at least 14,700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. 

The project will construct eight substations and install more than 100 kilometers of climate- and disaster-resilient underground cables and 150 kilometers of overhead lines. The new infrastructure will provide reliable energy to 1.3 million new and existing users and the new airport terminal, as well as protect the power network from weather-related hazards such as floods.

Through an attached technical assistance, the knowledge and capacity of the Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited and related government agencies to handle public–private partnerships (PPPs) will be enhanced through a capacity development program and policy recommendations to strengthen PPP processing and implementation and the handling of future commercial financing. The $750,000 technical assistance grant will be funded by the Republic of Korea e-Asia Knowledge Partnership Fund, administered by ADB. 

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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