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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) last week approved a loan of US$ 115 million and US$ 3.8 million in grants to help Sri Lanka achieve 100 percent electrification and improve the reliability of electricity supply, a statement said. The project will run for 5 years with an expected completion date in September 2021.

“Sri Lanka’s national electrification rate has gone from 29 percent to 98 percent  in the space of 25 years, but some areas particularly in former conflict-affected zones and on small isolated islands still struggle with an unreliable power supply,” said Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, an ADB Principal Energy Specialist.

“Small island communities are forced to use expensive, inefficient diesel generation sets that deliver only intermittent electricity supplies. The project will help meet the needs of areas that have been missing out through upgrades to the medium voltage network, the rollout of over 2,300 kilometres of low voltage line extensions, and the construction of hybrid renewable energy mini-grids.”

The grants comprise US$ 2 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and US$ 1.8 million from the Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility, a multi-donor facility administered by ADB.