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World Bank offers $450m loan to improve power supply in Bangladesh

CTBR Staff Writer Published 02 April 2018

The World Bank has agreed to provide $450m in Bangladesh to improve power supply in the country.

The loan will be provided for Enhancement and Strengthening of Power Transmission Network in Eastern Region Project (ESPTNERP).

The project will expand electricity transmission network in the eastern region, which covers greater Comilla and Noakhali, and part of greater Chittagong.

Improved and expanded electricity transmission network will be able to supply electricity to 275,000 households and 16,000 agricultural consumers and can reduce power interruptions.

This project will expand the existing grid network with the development of 13 new substations and will rehabilitate an existing one. The project will also involve construction of 290km transmission lines and rehabilitation of 157km of existing transmission lines.

World Bank task team leader Mohammad Anis said: “In the last decade, Bangladesh has increased power generation capacity by more than three-fold to 15.8GW. But, it still has one of the world’s lowest electricity consumption rate per person. To meet the growing demand, the government plans to increase power generation to 24GW by 2021.

“But, only investing in generation without upgrading transmission and distribution systems will not meet the demand. The project will enhance transmission capacity, ensure efficient evacuation of power, and improve grid operations.”

The remaining loan amount of $110m will be used under the Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP). This project is expected to help 20,000 micro enterprises to adopt environmentally-friendly practices.

It will cover manufacturing and agribusiness sectors such as leather, mini textiles, light engineering, plastic, food processing, metal products, livestock, horticulture, aquaculture and poultry.

Under the project, clusters of micro enterprises will be given incentives to adopt cleaner technologies and joint amenities such as shared recycling and storage facilities.

World Bank task team leader Nadia Sharmin said: “Half the country’s population depend on microenterprises for livelihoods. But, the microenterprises cumulatively affect the environment and face climate change risks.

“By creating opportunities for them to avail finance and technologies for environmentally sustainable practices, the project will promote a cleaner and climate-resilient economy.”

Image: Bangladesh to receive $430m to improve power transmission. Photo: Courtesy of Ed Moon/FreeImages.com.