ADB to loan $60m to improve energy sector

Bank says that poor infrastructure is resulting in a high level of electricity losses, while upgrades are necessary

Nearly one-fifth of electrical power is lost before it reaches consumers because of ageing infrastructure, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which announced last week it will lend Myanmar US$60million to improve the electricity distribution system in Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions.

“Access to electricity is crucial to development. Repairing and strengthening existing electricity infrastructure will help reduce system losses, use resources more efficiently and connect more people to the electricity grid,” said Stephen Groff, vice president of ADB.

Losses from the crumbling distribution system were as high as 18.2 percent in 2012, said the ADB announcement.

The loan will fund upgrading of power substations, transformers and digital revenue meters, as well as the replacement of bare low-voltage distribution lines with aerial-bundled conductor lines, reducing distribution losses by 4pc.

ADB is also collaborating with the National Energy Management Committee to improve coordination between ministries responsible for producing energy. The bank is also helping the government prepare energy sector policy, revise the electricity law, draw up a national transmission and distribution code and establish electrical equipment standards. The 20-year long-term energy master plan is also being formulated with ADB help.

Source: Myanmar Times

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