ADB to help make Himachal Pradesh ‘hydropower state’

October 24th, 2008 - 12:19 am ICT by IANS  

Manila, Oct 23 (Xinhua) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide India with a loan of $800 million to make Himachal Pradesh the country’s “hydropower state”, the lender said Thursday. The eight-year loan package will help finance the construction of several run-of-river hydropower generating plants that will bring in combined capacity of 808 MW for the small mountainous state, ADB said in a statement.

Himachal Pradesh has abundant water resources, with five major rivers flowing from the western Himalayas. Its power generation potential is 20,415 MW, about 25 percent of India’s total hydropower potential, out of which only 6,150 MW has been developed, according to the statement.

In 2006, the state government approved a hydropower policy that aims to make Himachal Pradesh the “hydropower state” of India.

“Himachal Pradesh’s focus on hydropower development will provide jobs to state residents and will further the state’s and the country’s goal of maximizing this clean, indigenous resource to help meet its energy needs,” said Andrew Jeffries, an energy economist at ADB’s South Asia Department.

The multi-tranche financing facility, which will be allocated based on the readiness of the project, allows ADB to engage the state government in a continuous long-term dialogue on its clean energy policies, said the Manila-based development bank.

The projects will provide affordable and reliable power supply to local residents and industrial users in the state, ADB said.

Any excess supply can be exported to other parts of India, It added.

At present, ADB and the Himachal Pradesh government have identified two projects ready for financing through the first loan tranche of $150 million, including the construction of the 111-MW Sawra Kuddu Hydroelectric Project on the Pabber river in Shimla district, and civil works for the 65-MW Kashang I Hydroelectric Project located in Kinnaur district.

The loan has a 25-year repayment period.

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