Bihar gets $132 mn ADB loan for power projects

PATNA: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday entered into a phase of long-term partnership with Bihar, as its representatives, along with that of the Centre and the Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB), signed a new tranche of loan worth $132 million in Delhi for strengthening the state’s power sector.

Of the total loan provided by ADB, $130.3 million would be utilized to finance infrastructure development, which includes installation of transmission lines and renovation (modernization) of both the transmission and power distribution facilities. The remaining $1.9 million would be used for the capacity building of the BSEB.

BSEB PRO Hareram Pandey here said that the $132 million (or around Rs 606 crore) is a part of the $153.9 million (or around Rs 708 crore) worth of the project in the power sector that the ADB had earlier sanctioned for the state. The ADB amount is coming as loan to the state, while the Bihar government would provide the monetary value of the remaining 14 per cent (or Rs 102 crore) to the BSEB.

ADB’s India Resident Mission officer-in-charge Prodyut Dutt, on the occasion of inking of the loan agreement with the Centre and BSEB, said that his bank’s “development partnership” with Bihar had strengthened significantly since 2008, when the bank’s loan worth $420 million for the state’s State Highway Development Project, phase-I, was approved.

Given the state’s strong implementation performance of that loan, the second State Highway Project loan was approved in 2010, he also said, adding that an active consideration of the loan for urban development this year and another tranche for the second Power Improvement Project would be provided in 2014. According to Dutt, all these steps would further deepen ADB’s partnership with Bihar.

The signatories to the $132 million loan agreement for the strengthening of the state’s power sector were joint secretary (multilateral institutions) in the Union ministry of finance Venu Rajamony on behalf of the Centre and Dutt on behalf of the ADB. Besides, the power project agreement was signed by BSEB secretary Ganesh Prasad and state government joint secretary Shambhu Nath Mishra and Dutt on behalf of the ADB. BSEB chairman P K Rai, along with officials of the ADB cell in the BSEB, was also present on the occasion.

The approved power project valued at $153.9 million is expected to be completed by December 31, 2015. It is aimed at providingtransmitting additional over 4.72 lakh megawatt-hours (MWh) to consumers annually by the end of 2015. It would also help in reducing system losses by three per cent by 2016 in the seven districts of the state — West Champaran, East Champaran, Begusarai, Bhojpur, Buxar, Samastipur and Nalanda.

Source: Abhay Singh, TOI

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