ADB extends $ 350 m to boost roads, energy

The Ministry of Finance and Mass Media has entered into two loan agreements with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to borrow $ 150 million for the development of 3,400 km of rural roadways and $ 200 million for the implementation of 100 MW Wind Power Generation Project in Mannar Island

According to the recent economic policy statement of the Government, development of the rural economies is one of the priorities to achieve the sustainable development of the country and therefore, the Government is investing more on rural infrastructure development to uplift the livelihood of people living in rural areas.

A total of 3,400 km of rural access roads inclusive of 340 km of national highways will be upgraded under the agreement signed yesterday for the Second Integrated Road Investment Program. The significance of this road project is that these roads will be developed to suit all weather conditions and will improve 340 km of national roads with the aim of building up better connectivity between rural communities and socio economic centres.

Improving the capacity of road agencies with respect to safeguards, road safety, maintenance, research capacity and road design and construction is another component of the program. The program will be implemented in Northern, Eastern, Uva and Western Provinces.

Under the first phase of this program 3,108 km of rural access roads and 248 km of national roads in Southern, Central, Sabaragamuwa, North Western, North Central Provinces and Kalutara District in Western Province are being improved and maintained. The total investment cost of the first tranche of this project is $ 172.1 million. ADB provides $ 150 million and the Government Contribution will be $ 22.1 million.

Current energy policy focuses on diversification of power generation through non-conventional renewable energy resources to improve the country’s energy security as well as the environment.

Implementation of the Wind Power Generation Project will support the Government’s objective of achieving 20% of the total power generation through non-conventional power generation by 2020 by enhancing clean power generation.

A 100 MW wind farm will be constructed in Mannar Island of the Northern Province under the proposed project. In addition, wind park infrastructure will be developed including Wind Park’s internal medium voltage infrastructure, internal cabling and access roads; establishment of a renewable energy dispatch control centre for the forecasting, controlling and managing intermittent 100 MW wind power generation.

The total investment cost of this project is $ 256.7 million of which $ 200 million will be provided by ADB as a direct loan to CEB under a Treasury Guarantee. The balance $ 56.7 million will be financed by CEB.

Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, and Sri Widowati, Country Director of ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission on behalf of ADB, signed two loan agreements on 22 November at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media,

Further, the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board and Widowati signed a loan agreement to obtain $ 200 m from ADB for the implementation of Wind Power Generation Project.

Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera and ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang also participated on this occasion.

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