Dhaka: Bangladesh is seeking $90 million in soft loans from the World Bank to expand solar power supply to the rural areas, officials said on 25 April.
The funds will be spent to install around 200,000 solar home systems across the country under a second phase of the project, one official said.
“The finance ministry has sent a formal proposal to the World Bank seeking a $90 million fund for installing solar power system in the remote areas,” the official with the ministry said.
The project will be implemented by a local agency, Infrastructure and Development Company Limited (IDCOL).
The official said IDCOL had already set up 50,000 solar home systems by September 2005, three years ahead of schedule, with funds from the World Bank and some other agencies to help supply electricity to rural areas.
The country suffers an average 1,200 megawatts (MW) of power shortfall each day, which triggered violent protests last year.
Barely 30% of the country’s more than 140 million people have access to power.
The World Bank said last year that Bangladesh would need $10 billion in investments over the next 10 years to overcome the power shortage. Frequent outages cut its gross domestic product by around $1.0 billion annually, the bank said.