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ASEAN, ADB launch new infrastructure fund

MANILA, Philippines 5/4/12 (PennWell) -- A new fund established for the development of infrastructure could have implications for hydroelectric projects in Asia.

The Association of South East Asian Nations' (ASEAN) board met at the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) 45th Annual Meeting in Manila this week and begun operations of its ASEAN Infrastructure Fund.

ASEAN says the fund is the largest ASEAN-led initiative in the association's history and will help finance the development of power, road, rail and water projects.

"This is a watershed moment for ASEAN nations working together to finance infrastructure projects that will boost trade, foster economic growth and create more jobs opportunities for the half a billion people who call ASEAN home," says Rajat Nag, ADB managing director general.

The fund is expected to lend a total of about US$4 billion through 2020, which, with co-financing by ADB and other financiers, could be leveraged to more than $13 billion.

The fund will finance about six projects per year, according to a release, with a $75 million lending cap per project.

Projects will be selected based on "sound economic and financial rates of return, and the potential impact for poverty reduction."

ADB will administer the fund.

Recent hydropower projects that have received ADB funding include 180-kW Doudlevce, 147-MW Patrind and 440-MW Nam Ngum 3.

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