Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The World Bank approved a US$130 million credit to Bangladesh on Friday to increase access to electricity through installation of affordable Solar Home Systems (SHS) in rural areas.

The credit is additional financing for the rural electrification and renewable energy development credit, a project that since 2003 has connected 600,000 consumers to the electricity grid, constructed about 5270 miles (8,500 kilometers) of new distribution, and provided 320,000 consumers with SHS, a World Bank press statement said in the capital, Dhaka.    

The project will support an ongoing renovation of the electricity distribution network as well as provide financing for renewable energy projects such as biomass and biogas power plants, solar water pump for irrigation, and solar mini grids.

The credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary arm, has 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period; it carries a service charge of 0.75 percent, according to the statement.

BBN/SS/SSR/AD-01August09-12:51 am (BST)