ADB loan to help Bangladesh cut energy shortage,
Aug. 11, 2011 - news.xinhuanet.com
DHAKA, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development
Bank is extending a 300 million U.S. dollars energy
infrastructure loan to help Bangladesh address critical
power shortages which are undermining the economy
and slowing poverty reduction efforts, the Manila-based
lender said Thursday.
It said in a press release that the board of directors
of the bank Thursday approved the loan for over half
a billion U.S dollars Power System Efficiency Improvement
Project, which will help meet Bangladesh's urgent
need for more energy-efficient generating plants
and greater use of renewable power sources.
The Islamic Development Bank is providing co-financing
of 200 million U.S. dollars, with the Bangladeshi
government extending over 81 million U.S. dollars
for a total project cost of almost 581.2 million
U.S. dollars, it added.
These initiatives will help Bangladesh cut carbon
dioxide emissions by hundreds of thousands of tons
a year, making the project eligible for carbon financing
under the Clean Development Mechanism, the bank said,
adding it also incorporates a gender action plan,
funded by an Asian Development Bank technical assistance
grant of 350,000 U.S. dollars, that will ensure women
are able to benefit equally from energy-related employment
and livelihood opportunities.
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, it said.
According to the bank statement, only 49 percent
of Bangladeshi people have access to electricity,
and frequent shortages and unreliable supplies have
perpetuated underdevelopment with nearly half the
population living below the extreme poverty line
of 1.25 U.S. dollars a day.
The project is due for completion by the end of