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ADB, India ink USD 132.8 million loan to strengthen Meghalaya’s power distribution sector

Tuesday, 01 Dec 2020
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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of India have inked USD 132.8 million loan to strengthen and modernise distribution network and improve quality of power supplied to households, industries and businesses in the state of Meghalaya. 
The project supports the state government’s ‘24x7 Power for All’ initiative and will help the state reduce its high technical and commercial losses through network strengthening, metering and billing efficiency improvements. 
Technological improvements to the distribution network adapted to extreme weather, introduction of smart meters and online meter reading, billing and collection systems will help improve operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of the state’s distribution system. 
Though the state has achieved 100 percent electrification, remote rural areas suffer from frequent power interruptions due to overloaded distribution networks and substations that use outdated technology, resulting in high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses.
The project will construct 23 substations; renovate and modernise 45 substations, including the provision of control room equipment and protection systems; install and upgrade 2,214 km of distribution lines and associated facilities covering three out of six circles in the state. The installation of smart meters will benefit about 1,80,000 households. 
The loan is proposed to be supplemented by USD two million grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction that will finance renewable energy mini-grids for improving power quality and supporting income generation activities, especially for women and other socially disadvantaged groups in three villages and three schools. 
The project will help develop a distribution sector road map and a financial road map for the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation (MePDCL). These road maps will strengthen the capacity of MePDCL to operate and manage the distribution networks.
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