The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) plans to invest US$ 540.6 million in Bangladesh’s three infrastructure and power projects to help the country ensure smooth road communication and uninterrupted power supply.
The projects are Mymensingh Kewatkhali Bridge, Sylhet to Tamabil Road Upgradation and Power System Upgrade and Expansion.
“We are considering loans of US$ 152.6 million for Mymensingh Kewtkhali Bridge Project while US$ 268 million for Sylhet to Tamabil road upgradation Project and US$ 120 million for the Power system upgrade and Expansion Project for the Chittagong region,” AIIB Head of Communications and Development Laurel Ostfield told BSS through an email.
She said the construction of Mymensingh Kewtkhali Bridge will reduce traffic and travel time and the Sylhet to Tamabil road upgradation project will improve cross-border connectivity between Bangladesh and India via a safe and efficient road link between Sylhet and Tamabil.
The Power System Upgrade and Expansion Project will increase the capacity of the transmission network and the new consumers will be connected to the grid and load shedding will be reduced, Ostfield said.
Mymensingh Kewatkhali Bridge is part of the Dhaka-Mymensingh-India border corridor, which is strategically important for both regional and local connectivity. The Mymensingh Kewatkhali Bridge will provide crossing over the Old Brahmaputra River to connect the landlocked north central and northeast Bangladesh with Dhaka.
The project is a substantial attempt to ease traffic congestion in Mymensingh city by diverting traffic away from the city’s busy central area.
The project’s preliminary cost is estimated at US$ 235.1 million, of which US$ 152.6 million is covered by the AIIB sovereign-backed loan. The government will cover the cost of land acquisition, which is about US$ 82.5 million.
The proposed Sylhet to Tamabil Road Upgradation Project consists of four components – construction works, consulting services, operation and maintenance and management support and capacity building.
The project preliminary cost is estimated at US$ 435 million, of which US$ 268 million is covered by the AIIB sovereign backed loan while the government will provide US$ 167 million covers for land acquisition.
The proposed ‘Power System Upgrade and Expansion Project’ will construct 46 km of 400 kV and 230 kV double-circuit transmission lines to connect three substations at Anowara, New Mooring and Khulsi in the Chattogram region.
The transmission lines and associated substations or bays will collectively provide 1,640 megavoltampere (MVA) transmission capacities at different voltage levels.
The project cost is estimated at about US$ 177.5 million, of which a loan of US$ 120 million will be provided by AIIB. The government will cover US$ 46.4 million and the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) will provide US$ 11.1 million.