ADB approves Rs 13.9 billion loan to boost Bengaluru’s power distribution infrastructure

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approveda loan of Rs 13.9 billion to upgrade the power distribution system in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Of the total amount, Rs 7.36 billion will be a sovereign loan and the remaining Rs 6.62 million will be a non-sovereign loan to the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) under its ‘Bengaluru Smart Energy Efficient Power Distribution’ project. The loan is also expected to boost BESCOM’s O&M activities and finances.

The project is expected to streamline the city’s power distribution system. The proposed development will convert 7,200 km of overhead distribution lines to underground cables along with 2,800 km of fiber optic cabling. This move is expected to add protection to the distribution lines from natural hazards and also could reduce the commercial losses by up to 30 per cent. The fiber cabling used for the project will be used for smart metering systems, distribution automation systems, and other communication networks. The project will also include the installation of 1,700 automated ring main units with a distribution automation system to monitor the distribution line switchgear.

In December 2020, ADB approved a $562.8 million loan to strengthen the quality and reliability of the electricity supply in Uttar Pradesh and Meghalaya. Of the total amount, $430 million had been approved for Uttar Pradesh while the remaining $132.8 million would be for Meghalaya. In July 2020, ADB signed a $17.7 million financing agreement with Spectra Solar Park Limited to invest in a 35 MW utility-scale solar PV plant in Bangladesh.

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