The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Centre have signed a USD 231 million loan for the construction of 120 megawatts (MW) run-of-the-river hydroelectric project over the Kopili river in Assam.
The power project on the Kopili river and its tributary, Umrong stream, is located in the Dima Hasao district of Assam.
The project is scheduled to be commissioned by 2025.
This is the third tranche loan for the ongoing Assam Power Sector Investment Programme that was approved by the ADB board in July 2014, Assam Tribune reported.
The programme, including its two previous tranches, focuses on enhancing the capacity and efficiency of the energy generation and distribution systems in Assam to improve electricity service to end-users.
Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, CS Mohapatra and Officer-in-Charge of ADB’s India Resident Mission, Hoe Yun Jeong signed the agreement.
The proposed hydroelectric project will help increase electricity supplied from clean energy by 469 gigawatthour (GWh) by 2025 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 360,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
Part of the loan will be used for project capacity building of the Assam Power Generation Corporation Limited (APGCL) on construction, operation and maintenance.
The project will finance APGCL’s enterprise resource planning system. It will also contribute to improving gender equity by enhancing the gender capacity of the APGCL and improve women’s participation and contribution in training and community-led interventions.
After signing the loan agreement, Mohapatra said the project will add to Assam’s power generation capacity from clean hydroelectric source and improve electricity availability.
“Increased supply of affordable and clean electricity facilitated through the project will help improve living conditions, promote business expansion, and increase employment opportunities in the State, besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Jeong said.