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World Bank to provide $700m for power, gas projects

► The global lender now invests over $1.6bn in Bangladesh's six power projects ► It shows interest in more investment on integrated regional power connectivity

  • Shamim Jahangir
  • 21 September, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
World Bank to provide $700m for power, gas projects
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid poses for a photo with the representatives of World Bank led by its South Asian Region Vice-President Martin Raiser at a courtesy call on at Secretariat in the capital on Tuesday.

The World Bank will provide Bangladesh with $700 million credit to implement two projects in the country’s power and energy sector.

The assurance came after a meeting between State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid and a visiting World Bank team led by its Vice-President for South Asia Martin Raiser.

“We have got assurance (of World Bank loans) to implement a power transmission line between southern and central zone at a cost of $400 million and another pre-paid meter project at a cost of $300 million for Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company and the Paschimanchal Gas Distribution Company,” said an official concerned who attended the meeting.

He said the power transmission line project will be implemented by 2028 while the pre-paid meters will be installed by 2024.

Presently, the Power Division is implementing six projects at a cost of $1.6 billion with World Bank funds, the official added.

He said the lender has also shown interest in investing more in regional power exchange among Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan through cooperation.

Bangladesh has sought the World Bank’s support in establishing power connectivity among these four countries as early as possible.  State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid said Bangladesh was also interested in equity investment in Nepal and in electricity import from Bhutan through India.

He requested the World Bank for releasing the support so that the projects can be completed within the stipulated time.

The lender is now negotiating to extend the integrated connectivity and meets with regional power secretaries every six months in this regard, the sources confirmed.

State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid called for the World Bank’s assistance to expand electric vehicles here.

He also sought more World Bank investment in expansion of renewable power projects considering global warming. World Bank Vice-President for South Asian region Martin Raiser has expressed interest in helping capacity building on power and energy as well as expansion of renewable and regional power trading.

Energy and Mineral Resources Division’s senior secretary Md Mahabub Hossain, Power Division secretary Md Habibur Rahman, World Bank’s South Asian regional director (infrastructure) Guangzhe Chen and other senior officials also attended the meeting.