The World Bank has approved $59m in financing to support Bangladesh in modernizing the power sector.

The financing will help the country meet the growing demand for electricity by enhancing the reliability and efficiency of the total power system, from electricity generation to transmission.

The Power System Reliability and Efficiency Improvement Project will reduce power outages and load-shedding, as well as cut electricity generation costs.

By modernization of the electricity generation processes and practices, Bangladesh plans to achieve its objectives of improving its power sector. Besides, it would facilitate installation of new software and hardware, and also carry out upgrades to the transmission system.

As part of the project, a 40-km transmission line will be constructed and rehabilitated while bottlenecks in other major lines planned to be removed.

Bangladesh is also aiming to cut down on the use of carbon-intense fuel for its power generation as part of the project, thereby reducing the greenhouse gas emissions.

World Bank Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Country Director Qimiao Fan said that though Bangladesh had doubled its power generation capacity in the last five years to meet growing electricity requirements, it is still ranked at 187 out of 190 economies on the Getting Electricity indicator of the organization’s 2017 Doing Business Report.

Fan added: “The project will help address bottlenecks and modernize the overall power system. This will reduce outages, save fuel in power generation, and help bring affordable and reliable electricity to households and businesses.” 

The loan granted by the World Bank’s International Development Association’s scale-up facility for the project is to have a 30-year term. It would also feature a grace period of nine years.