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ADB to Provide $12m for Cross-Border Power Supply

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Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide additional $12m as loan to finance a cross-border electricity supply initiative between Bangladesh and India. With this additional support, the lender came up with a total of $112m for the $199m project called the “SASEC Bangladesh–India Electrical Grid Interconnection Project.”

The fresh funding will meet the shortage of money required for the project. To this effect, Abul Kalam Azad, Secretary of Economic Relations Division (ERD), and M Teresa Kho, ADB Country Director for Bangladesh, signed a loan agreement on behalf of their respective sides at ERD office on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh jointly inaugurated the project on 5th this month. The assistance for the Bangladesh-India Electrical Grid Interconnection Project helped build a 27-kilometer 400-kilovolt transmission line between the electrical substations at Baharampur in India and Bheramara in Bangladesh, a 500-megawatt (MW) high voltage substation at Bheramara, a 230 kV double circuit loop-in loop-out interconnection at Bheramara to link with the transmission network in Bangladesh, and associated infrastructure.

The interconnection facilitates an initial power flow of 500 MW into Bangladesh from the Indian grid, with a provision to expand the power flow to 1,000 MW in the future. The project is supported by ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund. The project is an outcome of the landmark joint communiqué for greater cooperation signed between Bangladesh and India during Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in January 2010.

The project signalled a new era in energy cooperation in South Asia and is likely to herald further power trading agreements, resulting in the more effective use of existing energy resources in the region, said M Teresa Kho.

“Connecting the two grids will demonstrate substantial economic benefits that come from enhanced regional cooperation, and help to address energy gaps across the region,” she said.

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