New Delhi, June 15: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has offered a $132 million loan for development of power projects in Bihar, an official said Wednesday.
The major portion of the ADB loan ($130.3 million) will be used to finance infrastructure such as transmission lines, while the remaining ($1.9 million) will be used for strengthening the internal capacity of the Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB).
Representatives of the ADB, finance ministry and Bihar government signed an agreement here for the loan, which will be utilised over the next five years.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. It will provide/transmit additional 472,579 megawatt-hours (MWh) to consumers annually by the end of 2015 and reduce system losses by 3 percent by 2016 in the seven districts of Bihar.
‘This is the first ever loan to be extended by a multilateral development bank for strengthening Bihar’s power sector,’ Venu Rajamony, Joint Secretary at the federal department of economic affairs, said after signing the agreement.
He said the ADB assistance would help strengthen Bihar’s transmission and distribution system and reduce technical and commercial losses of electricity.
‘Given that a reliable power supply is critical for facilitating growth and creating employment opportunities, this project will help Bihar in attracting investment and tapping its economic potential in addition to reducing power outages,’ Rajamony said.
The loan will be used to install new transmission lines and to renovate and modernise transmission and distribution facilities to improve the quality and reliability of the state’s electricity supply network.
The ADB will also provide a technical assistance grant of $300,000 for training and other capacity development to improve project and financial management in BSEB.
It will assist BSEB with project implementation and construction supervision, including training in the maintenance and operation of high-voltage distribution systems.