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$160m ADB loan to upgrade power network in Dhaka

FE REPORT | January 03, 2024 00:00:00

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government signed a $160 million loan agreement to help Dhaka's power distribution network, enhance its efficiency, and increase energy supply. Md Shahriar Kader Siddiky, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Jiangbo Ning, Deputy Country Director, ADB, signed the agreement at ERD in Dhaka on Tuesday.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $160-million loan to upgrade the power-distribution network in Dhaka, improve efficiency, and increase energy supply.

The loan agreement was signed by the Secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), Md. Shahriar Kader Siddiky, and ADB Deputy Country Director to Bangladesh, Jiangbo Ning, at a ceremony in Dhaka.

The project, known as the Dhaka Power System Expansion and Strengthening Project, aims to construct eight substations and install underground cables and overhead lines spanning over 100 kilometers and 150 kilometers, respectively.

In addition to enhancing the operations of the Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (DESCO), the project also aims to establish a safeguards unit that covers environmental, social, and gender issues.

It will ensure that internationally accepted standards are met for all future infrastructure projects, and adopt environment-friendly technologies such as alternative insulating gases for future gas-insulated substations instead of sulfur hexafluoride following a detailed feasibility study on alternative insulating gases.

"The (ADB) assistance will ensure reliable, efficient, and improved quality electricity supply to 200,000 new and 1.1 million existing residential, commercial, and industrial customers as well as the new airport terminal in Dhaka," Mr Jiangbo Ning was quoted as saying.

"It will also promote the climate agenda by helping to optimize power usage, reduce wastage, modernize aged and overloaded power infrastructure, and reduce at least 14,700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year," said the AD deputy country director.

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, said the ADB release.

Of the total, $750,000 worth of technical assistance grant will be funded by the Republic of Korea e-Asia Knowledge Partnership Fund, administered by ADB, according to the ADB press release.

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