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Sri Lanka micro hydro rehabilitation projects receive boost from new ADB loan

Sri Lanka's National Development Bank (NDB) will use a US$1.29 million credit line from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to rehabilitate and repair 19 micro hydro projects, HydroWorld.com has learned.

The credits will be granted to private developers and will finance up to 100% of the total estimated costs for restarting the small hydropower sites. The loans carry a concessionary rate of five years, including a maximum grace period of up to one year.

The 19 mini hydropower projects -- located on private tea and rubber estates in Sri Lanka's Badulla, Kandy, Kegalle, Matale, Nuwara, Eliya and Ratnapura districts -- will add an estimated 1.3 MW of combined capacity and fall under the Estate Micro Hydro Rehabilitation and Re-Powering Project (EMRRP), which is funded by the Asian Development Bank's "Sustainable Power Sector Support Project".

"We are proud to partner this national endeavor which would make a significant contribution to the national economy through repowering of renewable energy sources with potential to generate considerable volumes of power," NDB Chief Operating Officer Indrajit Wickramasinghe said.

Similar programs have existed since the mid-1990s, according to NDB, with more than 253 MW of total hydroelectric capacity having been added to Sri Lanka's grid by way of rehabilitated 0.25 MW to 10 MW hydropower projects.

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