$59m deal inked with WB for power sector development

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 24 Aug 2017, 13:56:31 | Updated : 24 Aug 2017, 15:09:00

$59m deal inked with WB for power sector development

The government on Thursday signed a $59 million financing agreement with the World Bank for improving the efficiency of the country's power system, aiming to provide reliable and low-cost electricity to people.

The agreement was signed by Economic Relations Division (ERD) Additional Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and World Bank Country Director Qimiao Fan on behalf of the government of Bangladesh and the World Bank respectively, at the ERD.

The Power System Reliability and Efficiency Improvement Project will modernise and upgrade Bangladesh's power system, including installing new software and hardware.

This will help the country reduce power outages and load-shedding significantly. The project will enable an automated and integrated operation of the power system and an optimal dispatch of electricity, resulting in reduction of fuel use, reports UNB.

"In the last five years, Bangladesh has doubled its electricity generation capacity to meet the growing demand. Today, about 78 per cent of the population have access to electricity," said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

"With rapid increase in the size of the power system, the country now faces challenges of ensuring quality and reliability of electricity supply. The project will help improve efficiency and reliability of the power sector. Reliable and low-cost power supply will make doing business easier and benefit households," Qimiao Fan said.

ERD Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam said, "The government is committed to providing electricity to all. The financing will help remove bottlenecks and optimise the national power system to ensure affordable and round-the-clock electricity."

The credit from the World Bank's International Development Association's scale-up facility will have a 30-year term, including a nine-year grace period. 

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