ADB approves support for Sri Lanka’s road network and solar power

2 Oct 17

The Asian Development Bank has approved financing of up to $900m to upgrade Sri Lanka’s road network, as well as a $50m loan to fund solar power generation systems.

The financing will upgrade the road network to connect rural population to jobs and services, the ADB announced last week (Friday).

Earlier in the week it also approved a $50m loan to fund rooftop solar power generation to increase the share of renewable energy sources.

“ADB’s second integrated road Investment programme aligns with the [Sri Lankan] government strategy to fully connect rural development centres with upgraded rural access to roads in an area that is home to about 10 million people,” said Kanzo Nakai, an ADB senior transport specialist.

About 3,400 km of rural access roads will be upgraded to all-weather standards and about 340 km of national roads will be improved. The programme is due for completion in 2027.

The financing will be delivered in five tranches, starting with a regular loan of $90m and concessional loan of $90m and concessional loan of $60m this year. The government will meet $184.6m of the total programme cost of $1.08bn, ADB said.

Although Sri Lanka’s energy sector has made progress over the last two and a half decades, there is still need to diversity the country’s energy mix towards more renewable and sustainable sources, Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, an ADB principle energy specialist said in a statement last week.

The total cost of the ADB’s rooftop solar power generation project is $59.8m. Of this, the private sector will provide a $9.8m contribution and the project is expected to be completed at the end of 2021.

ADB will also provide a $1m technical assistance to build capacity, increase awareness of stakeholders and support the implementation of the project.

The country’s economy has grown at an annual average of 6% since 2003 and poverty levels have been reduced from 22.7% in 2002 to 6.7% in 2012-13. 

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