April 15, 2009 (LBO) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it will provide 160 million US dollars in loans to Sri Lanka to expand and improve electricity services, especially to the poor and those living in conflict-affected areas. The funds will be used to support energy efficiency improvements, to develop the use of renewable energy, and to increase connections and services to rural households, the bank said in a statement.
“The access for the poor component will directly benefit the Eastern Province which has been severely affected by the conflict (between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels) as well as other poor regions,” said Tomoyuki Kimura, Principal Energy Specialist with ADB’s South Asia Department.
ADB’s Board of Directors has approved loans of 135 million dollars from its Ordinary Capital Resources (OCR) and 25 million dollars from its concessional Asian Development Fund (ADF) for the Clean Energy and Access Improvement Project in Sri Lanka.
The bank will also give technical assistance grants of 3.8 million dollars to support the project implementation and to strengthen capacity of the Public Utilities Commission, the island’s independent regulatory body.
“(This) will play a critical role in ef