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West Bengal secures USD 135 million loan from World Bank for rural power distribution

Wednesday, 01 Dec 2021
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The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has approved USD 135 million loan to West Bengal to improve operational efficiency and reliability of electricity supply in select pockets in the state. 
IBRD and its concessional lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA), are collectively also called the World Bank. 
The variable spread loan or floating interest loan will have a maturity of 17 years, including a grace period of seven years and will aim to strengthen distribution networks, invest in smart-grid technologies, and ensure financial sustainability of the state discom. 
The West Bengal Electricity Distribution and Grid Modernisation Project aims to reduce distribution system losses, increase the capacity of the distribution network to meet the growing load demand, improve the overall reliability of the system, make the network resilient to climate disasters, and improve the institutional capacity of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company. 
Economic growth in West Bengal has resulted in a growing electricity demand at a rate of 4.5 percent in the past five years. 
The number of consumers has more than doubled in the past six years to almost 20 million consumers under the state distribution company. 
The project will support the implementation of the government of India's 24x7 Power for All Programme in the state and support WBSEDCL in transitioning toward a leading public sector utility in India.
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