Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam (JBVNL) has secured a loan of $310m from the World Bank for the execution of a new $465.2m transmission project in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.
The state-owned utility is taking up the transmission project dubbed as Jharkhand Power System Improvement Project to deliver reliable, quality, and affordable electricity round the clock to the citizens of the state.
A loan agreement for the same was signed by the Indian government, the Jharkhand government and the World Bank. The loan will be provided by World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and has a five-year grace period and a final maturity of 25 years.
The Jharkhand transmission project, which has been split into three components, aims to expand the transmission capacity of the state’s electricity network and also bolster the institutional capacity of state-owned power transmission and distribution utilities.
Under the Jharkhand Power System Improvement Project, new power transmission infrastructure has been planned to be constructed. The project will also involve placing of systems in order to enhance the technical efficiency and commercial performance of the state power sector utilities.
Additionally, the Jharkhand transmission project is expected to introduce modern technology solutions like automated sub-stations, smart meters, network analysis and planning tools for reliable power supply and to boost customer satisfaction.
Its major components include construction of new substations and transmission lines, mainly at 132kV voltage level. The project will also support the Jharkhand Urja Sancharan Nigam (JUSNL) in installing systems for strengthening the State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) operations.
World Bank task team leaders for the project Amol Gupta and Kavita Saraswat said: “Implementing such a large program and improving the financial health of the sector, requires deeper institutional development of its power transmission & distribution utilities.
“Hence, one of the key elements of the current project will be to support institutional strengthening of the State-owned utilities in the areas of procurement, contract implementation, financial management, and commercial operations among others.”
The Jharkhand transmission project is part of the Indian government’s Power for All program, which came into effect in 2014. The Power for All program is seeking addition of more than 4.5GW of new generation capacities by the year 2022 through a combination of private and public-sector investments.