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AIIB approves $120m in loans for BD power sector

DHAKA:The China-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIID, has approved a loan of $120 million for a project that aims to upgrade and expand the power transmission system in Chattogram, according to a statement on the bank’s website.

An initiative of the Power Grid Corporation of Bangladesh, the project titled “Bangladesh Power System Upgrade and Expansion Project” will construct and upgrade more than 46 km of double-circuit transmission lines and associated substations and line bays. The project will also improve voltage stability and reduce voltage fluctuations and the need to spread the demand for electrical power, allowing more residences and businesses to connect to the regional grid.

The Bangladesh Power System Upgrade and Expansion Project is one of four energy projects in Bangladesh that have received funding from AIIB, the bank said. It added that all four projects are part of the Government of Bangladesh’s target to achieve affordable electricity for all by 2021.

The projects are geared towards enhancing distribution capacity, increasing the number of rural and urban electricity consumers, improving efficiency in gas production, expanding gas transmission pipeline capacity and increasing power generation capabilities in Bangladesh.

“Ensuring a more stable source of electricity in Bangladesh’s second largest economic centre will encourage more businesses to invest in the region, creating jobs and other economic benefits,” AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer DJ Pandian said in the statement. “Addressing the power shortages will also remove the risk local businesses face when having to rely on an unstable power supply.”

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