The Sunday Leader

$ 130 Mn. For Power

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is lending $130 million to help Sri Lanka expand the reach and quality of its electricity supply, with a focus on former conflict areas in the country’s north and east, a press release said.
It will also improve transmission and distribution network efficiency and develop renewable energy in the country’s other parts.
ADB’s Director Board has approved financing for the Clean Energy and Network Efficiency Improvement Project which will fund transmission and distribution upgrades and pilot solar rooftop power generation  investments.
ADB South Asia Department Energy Division director Yongping Zhai, said, “Long-term, Sri Lanka’s challenge is to cut dependence on costly and polluting fossil fuels and to make its power network more efficient. This project will support those goals, aid poverty reduction and provide new economic opportunities in post-conflict areas.”
The work will include new transmission and distribution lines, substations’ construction and improvement and other network upgrades to reduce system losses. A solar power generation trial will instal rooftop panels in a number of locations including Colombo, and Jaffna with a one megawatt total generating capacity by 2014. The solar initiative will be developed as a public-private partnership with a $1.5 million credit line for private developers as well as a $1.5 million grant from the multi-donor Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility administered by ADB.
The project will support the Government of Sri Lanka’s target of increasing national electrification from 91% last year to 100% by 2015. It will also help increase the renewable energy share in the national grid from 4.1% in 2007 to about 20% by 2020 and reduce network system losses from more than 14% in 2009 to 12% by 2020 as per the Government’s targets. Connecting solar power to the grid and lowering technical losses will enable Sri Lanka to avoid emissions of tens of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide a year, which otherwise would have been released under the current generation system.
The project will run for four years with an expected completion date of December 2016.

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