The ADB is extending a $300 million loan to Bangladesh to fund five aging generation units at Ashuganj power station with a new energy-efficient combined cycle power plant using natural gas as the fuel source.
The Asian Development Bank will also finance a 5MW solar photovoltaic generating system that will connect to the national grid, along with a hybrid wind, solar and diesel system on the island of Hatiya. Streetlights will be installed or retrofitted with solar and light emitting diode technology in the cities of Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi and Sylhet.
Aging thermal plants, inadequate natural gas supplies and lack of diverse power sources have left the country with a large gap between electricity supply and demand, estimated at over 1,200 megawatts for 2011. Only 49% of people have access to electricity.
“Energy shortage is the most critical infrastructure constraint on Bangladesh’s economic growth,” said Priyantha Wijayatunga, a Senior Energy Specialist at ADB’s South Asia Department. “Greater access to clean, reliable power will bring multiple benefits such as increased economic activity and new opportunities in agriculture, garment manufacturing and other businesses which will benefit the poor, including women,” he said.
The Islamic Development Bank is providing co-financing of $200 million, with the Government of Bangladesh extending over $81 million for a total project cost of almost $581.2 million.
The executing agencies include the Ashuganj Power Station Company, the Bangladesh Power Development Board and the Power Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources. The project is due for completion by end June 2017.
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