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ADB to provide loan to install solar power plants in Nepal

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The Asian Development Bank is in talks with Nepalese government to provide USD 20 million aid for setting up a large-scale solar power plant in the country as it is passing through an acute fuel crisis.

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The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it was holding discussions with the Nepalese authorities to provide USD 20 million in concessional loans under its climate investment fund.

The size of the new project will be 50 MW, ADB Country Director Kenichi Yokoyama said, adding that the proposal can be implemented as early as 2016.

According to the ADB, the solar plant will be integrated with the grid by involving the private sector.

The contribution of solar power in Nepal’s energy mix is insignificant, with just 450 kW produced and fed into the national grid so far.

Little progress was made on a proposed 25 MW solar plant planned to be set up with World Bank assistance.

With the trade blockade in the country’s southern border in place, the experts here feel that the country needed diversification in energy sources.

Chief of the international economic cooperation coordination division at the Finance Ministry, Madhu Marasini tweeted yesterday, “I had a call with ADB headquarters early in the morning today. ADB to mobilize aid to install solar plant with capacity of at least 50 MW. Alas, nobody has capacity to block the sun.”

He said that ADB has agreed in principle to provide aid for the project.

This is the first step and we have to exchange the necessary letters and conduct negotiations with the ADB for the project, he added.

Nepal and China have signed a deal to bring fuel to Nepal to fulfil its 33 per cent of demands as the country was reeling under shortage of petroleum products and cooking gas with the blockade in place in its southern border for more than a month.

The blockade began after Madhesi community — who have cultural, linguistic and family ties to Indians living across the border — began their protests over Nepal’s Constitution. Madhesis, Indian-origin inhabitants of Nepal’s Terai region, are protesting division of their ancestral homeland in the new Constitution. Source- PTI

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