ADB grants $133m loan to upgrade power distribution network in India
November 04, 2020 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a $132.8m loan to upgrade the power distribution network in the Indian state of Meghalaya.
According to the bank, the state’s per capita electricity consumption is 832kWh and is compared to be less than the national average of 1,122kWh in 2017.
The funding will be utilised to improve power quality and upgrade the power distribution network in India’s north-eastern state.
The project will involve the construction of 23 substations; renovation and upgrade of 45 substations, including the provision of control room equipment and protection systems.
It will also include installation and upgrade of 2,214km of distribution lines as well as the associated facilities that cover three out of the six circles in the state.
The antiquated electromechanical meters will be replaced with smart meters, which will benefit nearly 180,000 households.
The loan from ADB will be added to a $2m grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction that will help to fund mini-grids which will enhance the power quality.
It will also support income generation, specifically for women and other socially disadvantaged groups, using renewable energy sources in three villages and three schools.
ADB said that the project will support the development of a distribution sector road map and a financial road map for the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation (MePDCL).
The two road maps will help to strengthen MePDCL’s capacity to operate and manage the distribution networks.
ADB South Asia senior energy specialist Jaimes Kolantharaj said: “This project fully supports Meghalaya’s Power for All initiative in providing quality electricity 24 hours, 7 days a week to households, industries, businesses, and the public.
“By modernising and improving the distribution network, the project will improve the operational efficiency of distribution system and the financial sustainability of distribution business in the state.
“Improving access to electricity and creating economic opportunities in rural areas will help address poverty, promote rural development, and reduce inequality.”