Asian Development Bank to help India develop cleaner power sources

Asian Development BankManila - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Saturday it was extending a rupee-denominated loan worth 113 million dollars to a private Indian firm that will develop two wind power projects.

The Manila-based ADB said the wind energy facilities will be built in the states of Gujarat and Karnataka by a wholly Indian-owned subsidiary of CLP Holdings of Hong Kong.

"The project will help India's economic growth and energy diversification in an environmentally sustainable manner," said Shantanu Chakraborty, an investment specialist at the ADB.

The bank noted that while Gujarat and Karnataka are two of the leading states in India for wind power generation, they both continue to suffer from significant power shortages.

"Both states hold greater potential for wind power projects due to long coast lines and suitable inland areas," the ADB said in a statement.

The new projects, which have a total estimated cost of 9.9 billion rupees (251 million dollars), will add a total of 183.2 megawatts in capacity in the two states.

India is the third-largest electricity consumer in Asia behind China and Japan. Thermal power plants, mostly coal-fired, provide 66 per cent of the installed capacity.

Hydropower accounts for 26 per cent of capacity, with gas and oil- fired thermal power plants, renewable energy plants and nuclear power plants providing the rest.

The ADB noted that as of September 2007, India had more than 7,200 megawatts of installed wind power capacity but said it has the gross potential of more than 45,000 megawatts. (dpa)

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