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Meghalaya will receive a loan of USD 132.8 million to improve power quality and upgrade the power distribution network, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Tuesday.
Although Meghalaya has achieved 100 per cent electrification, the state’s per capita electricity consumption of 832 kilowatt-hours (kWh) is low compared to the national average of 1,122 kWh in 2017. Distribution networks are overloaded, and substations in rural areas use outdated technology.
“This project fully supports Meghalaya’s Power for All initiative in providing quality electricity 24 hours, seven days a week to households, industries, businesses, and the public. By modernising and improving the distribution network, the project will improve the operational efficiency of the distribution system and the financial sustainability of distribution business in the state,” said ADB Senior Energy Specialist for South Asia Jaimes Kolantharaj.
The project will construct 23 substations; renovate and modernise 45 substations, including the provision of control room equipment and protection systems; install and upgrade 2,214 kilometres of distribution lines and associated facilities covering three out of the six circles in the state.
It will replace outdated electromechanical meters with smart meters.
The loan will be supplemented by a USD 2 million grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction that will finance mini-grids that will improve power quality and support income generation, especially for women and other socially disadvantaged groups.
The project will also help develop a distribution sector road map and a financial road map for the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL).