The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $300 million in credit for a project of expansion of power transmission lines in Dhaka and Bangladesh's western zone.
Besides the ADB, Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank may also provide $200 million in joint-financing to the transmission lines, substations and an enterprise resource planning system in the country, according to a report of the Manila-based regional lending agency.
The Chinese assistance consists of $750,000 in grant coming from the country's Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund.
"As the Bangladesh economy grows and the power grid becomes more congested, upgrading and expanding the country's transmission network is crucial to sustain growth and reduce poverty," said ADB Principal Energy Specialist Aiming Zhou.
"The project will improve the reliability and efficiency of the electricity supply in the Greater Dhaka and western zone of Bangladesh, helping to bolster economic growth and achieve the government target of electricity for all by 2021," ADB quoted Zhou as saying.
The ADB report said Bangladesh still faces major challenges in maintaining growth trends of its economy and reducing poverty for an infrastructural deficit in various sectors, including power.
The country has significantly increased its power generation capacity against a growing demand for electricity, but its power sector has still to deal with frequent power supply shortages, an increasing number of interruptions and voltage fluctuations.
The new project titled "Dhaka and Western Zone Transmission Grid Expansion Project" will continue to fund high-level advanced conductors to ensure transfer of more power at a lower energy loss.
With the aid from China's Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund, the project will introduce drone technology to the country as an innovative new tools to improve operational efficiency and safety.
The project will construct 40km of transmission lines and 4,450 megavolt-ampere (MVA) of substations in Greater Dhaka apart from 368km of transmission lines, 3,070MVA of substations, and 20 bay extensions in the western zone.
It will also establish an enterprise resource planning system and a Drone Inspection Center to improve efficiency in operation and enhance workspace safety in the executing agency, the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Limited.
The government and executing agency will contribute $249.25 million toward the $750 million total cost of the project. The project is scheduled for completion towards the end of June 2024.