ADB inks deal to finance private gas-fired power plant

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DHAKA, July 31, 2020 (BSS) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a US$200 million financing package with Reliance Bangladesh LNG and Power Limited (RBLPL) to build and operate a 718-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle gas-fired power plant in Bangladesh.

The project will ease ongoing energy shortages and drive further private sector investments in the country’s power sector, said a press release.

The assistance comprises a $100 million loan from ADB and a further $100 million loan from the Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP), which will be administered by ADB.

The financing agreement was signed by the Director of Infrastructure Finance, South Asia, Central Asia, and West Asia at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Shantanu Chakraborty, and Chief Executive Officer of RBLPL, Ranjan Lohar.

The project is co-financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation as well as four commercial banks, with insurance for the commercial banks provided by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance.

Despite a significant increase in installed generation capacity in Bangladesh over the past decade, demand for electricity is not yet fully met through domestic supply. To help close the gap, the government of Bangladesh continues to emphasize greater private sector investments in power generation.

The plant will be located on the banks of the Meghna River, southeast of Dhaka. It will boost national generation capacity by about 4 percent, reducing the need for electricity imports and the use of environmentally harmful and expensive fuels like coal and oil. ADB has been involved in this project as a leading anchor lender since the early stages of its development.

LEAP was established in 2016 with a $1.5 billion capital commitment from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. It is focused on delivering high quality and sustainable private sector infrastructure projects that reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency, and offer accessible and affordable health care, education, and communication services to ADB’s developing member countries.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members – 49 from the region.

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