India signs $132.8-m loan agreement with ADB to strengthen Meghalaya’s power supply

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 01, 2020 Published on December 01, 2020

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Centre signed a $132.8-million loan agreement on Tuesday, aimed at strengthening and modernising the distribution network and improving the quality of power supplied to households, industries and businesses in Meghalaya.

An official statement said that this project supports Meghalaya’s ‘24x7 Power for All’ initiative and will help the State reduce its high technical and commercial losses through network strengthening, metering and billing efficiency improvements.

“Technological improvements to the distribution network adapted to extreme weather, introduction of smart meters and online meter reading, billing, and collection systems will help improve operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of the State’s distribution system,” said Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission.

“Though Meghalaya has achieved 100 per cent electrification, remote rural areas in the State suffer from frequent power interruptions due to overloaded distribution networks and substations that use outdated technology, resulting in high aggregate technical and commercial losses,” an official statement said.

Improvement plans

The project will construct 23 substations; renovate and modernise 45 substations, including addition of control room equipment and protection systems; and install and upgrade 2,214 km of distribution lines and associated facilities covering three out of the six circles in the State. The installation of smart meters will benefit about 180,000 households.

The loan is proposed to be supplemented by a $2-million grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, which will finance renewable energy mini-grids for improving power quality and supporting income generation activities, especially for women and other socially disadvantaged groups in three villages and three schools, the statement said.

The project will help develop a distribution sector roadmap and a financial roadmap for the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL). These roadmaps will strengthen the capacity of MePDCL to operate and manage the distribution networks, the statement added.

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Published on December 01, 2020
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