Swedish Aid

The Swedish Government pitched in with a US$ 20 mn loan on Friday to light up villages, as well as small and medium industries in rural Sri Lanka. The Swedish Government pitched in with a US$ 20 mn loan on Friday to light up villages, as well as small and medium industries in rural Sri Lanka.

The funds will be used to supply about 43, 550 houses in over 250 villages around the island, also supplying small and medium industries with electricity, the Treasury said in a statement on Friday.

The electricity will be through national grid extensions, with 268 substations to be set up by 2007, extending 400 km of medium voltage and over 1400 km of low voltage distribution lines.

The loan is being channelled through AB Svensk Exportkredit of Sweden, repayable over a thirteen year period and a grace period of six years.

Only about 60 percent of all households are currently connected to the national electricity grid, with plans to extend this to 80 percent by the end of the decade.

For areas too remote to be accessible by the grid, renewable energy sources, mainly solar power, mini-hydro projects and even biomass are popular.

Proj