File photo: Moneycontrol

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The government of Bangladesh on Tuesday signed two financing agreements totaling $515 million with the World Bank (WB) to help expand electricity transmission network.

The $450 million Enhancement and Strengthening of Power Transmission Network in Eastern Region Project will improve reliable electricity supply and reduce load shedding in the eastern region, covering greater Cumilla and Noakhali and part of greater Chittagong, according to a statement, issued by the WB in Dhaka.

About 275,000 households and 16,000 agricultural consumers will get new electricity connection.

The project will build 13 new substations and rehabilitate an existing one in the country’s eastern part.
These will also help integrate renewable energy and new generations into the grid. The project will build one 230 kV transmission line through greater Cumilla and four short distance 132 kV lines in Cumilla and Noakhali areas.

“In recent years, the government has significantly increased power generation. But, only investing in power generation is not sufficient, unless that is supported by improvement in transmission and distribution,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.

“By supplying uninterrupted power to Mirsharai Economic Zone, port, airport or other key economic facilities, the project will help unlock private sector growth.”

On the other hand, The $65 million Insurance Sector Development Project (ISDP), also signed on the same day, will help strengthen the regulatory and supervisory capacity of the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA), and the country’s two state-owned insurance corporations—Shadharan Bima Corporation and Jiban Bima Corporation—through modernizing their systems and business practices.

It will also help enhance the capacity of the Bangladesh Insurance Academy to become a reliable resource for training, and research, and thereby address the severe lack of insurance professionals.

“The 7th Five-Year Plan includes a vision for providing electricity to all as well as improving the insurance coverage,” said Mahmuda Begum, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division of Bangladesh. “Both projects will contribute to creating more and better jobs, and boosting growth.”