The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has granted $115m loan to Sri Lanka to help the country in achieving its goal of 100% electrification and improving power reliability.

The country also secured grants including $2m from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and $1.8m from the Clean Energy Fund under the ADB-managed Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility.

The funding will be used for a five-year project, which includes development of hybrid renewable energy systems and installation of a renewable energy micro-grid in the country’s Western Province.

Featuring a combination of wind, solar and efficient diesel generation, along with energy-storing long life lithium-ion batteries, the hybrid renewable energy systems will provide a reliable electricity supply for communities on three isolated islands in the Jaffna area of the Northern Province.

ADB principal energy specialist Mukhtor Khamudkhanov said: “Sri Lanka’s national electrification rate has gone from 29% to 98% in the space of 25 years, but some areas particularly in former conflict-affected zones and on small isolated islands still struggle with an unreliable power supply.

“The project will help meet the needs of areas that have been missing out through upgrades to the medium voltage network, the rollout of over 2,300km of low voltage line extensions, and the construction of hybrid renewable energy mini-grids.”

The project, which is planned to be completed in September 2021, also includes upgrades to the existing medium voltage network, installation of new lines and associated equipment.

Sri Lanka will also install thousands of kilometers of low voltage lines to extend rural electrification network and connect households to the national grid.

The project also includes a micro-grid pilot scheme, which will be financed by the Clean Energy Fund. It is that first of its kind to be trialed in the country.

Image: Sri Lanka intends to achieve 100% electrification and improve the power reliability. Photo: courtesy of Asian Development Bank.