DHAKA, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's (AIIB) has approved a loan of up to 60 million U.S. dollars for a power project in Bangladesh, according to a statement posted on the bank's website on Monday.
The approved debt financing will support the development of Bangladesh Bhola IPP, a greenfield 220-megawatt combined cycle power plant in Bhola island in the Barisal district of Bangladesh. The project is expected to increase power generation capacity in Bangladesh and help the country respond to power shortages, said the statement.
Once complete, it said, the project will increase power generation by around 1,300 gigawatt hours annually.
"Bangladesh's acute power shortages are impacting its economic growth and its efforts to reduce poverty," said AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, D. J. Pandian.
"This investment will help Bangladesh increase its power supply to support industries that are vital to growth, and will help reduce the number of individuals who currently live without electricity."
Bangladesh Bhola IPP is one of three energy projects in Bangladesh that have received funding from AIIB.
All three projects are aligned with the government of Bangladesh's target to achieve affordable electricity for all by 2021.
"We're investing in this project because it will be one of the most efficient power plants delivering low-cost power in Bangladesh," said AIIB Director General, Dong ik Lee.
"This investment will also help mobilize private capital and provide critical long-term financing that is not readily available in Bangladesh for vital infrastructure projects," he said.
The Bangladesh Bhola IPP project marks the first project AIIB has financed alongside the Islamic Development Bank and Infrastructure Development Company Limited.