The loan will support the installation and modernisation of more than 2,200km of distribution lines and associated facilities in the Indian state of Meghalaya
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a loan of $132.8m to enhance power quality and to upgrade the power distribution network in the northeastern state of Meghalaya in India.
To supply uninterrupted and affordable power supply to all electricity consumers, the union government and the state government started a joint initiative called 24X7 Power for All Meghalaya in 2015.
In the state of Meghalaya, remote rural areas suffer from frequent power interruptions, although the state has achieved 100% electrification.
As distribution network in the state is overloaded and substations in rural areas still use older technology, there are high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses, the ADB said.
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 modernizing 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.”
The modernisation project will involve construction of 23 substations
Under the project, 23 substations will be built, 45 substations will be renovated and modernised, which includes provision for control room equipment and protection systems.
The projects also includes installation and modernisation of more than 2,200km of distribution lines and associated facilities that will cover three out of six circles in the state.
Besides, it will consist of replacing old electromechanical metres with smart metres, benefiting nearly 180,000 households in the state.
The project is also expected to help in developing a distribution sector road map and a financial road map for Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation (MePDCL).
The road maps are expected to help in strengthening MePDCL’s capacity to operate and manage the distribution networks.
Last month, the Asian Development Bank has agreed offer $346m in loan India to support power supply for rural customers in the Indian state of Maharashtra.