The loan is the fourth tranche of an US$800M multi-tranche financing facility called the Himachal Pradesh Clean Energy Development Investment Programme. This is aimed at expanding the supply of power in the hill state as better electricity supply will help businesses, contributing to job creation and poverty reduction.

‘Himachal Pradesh’s focus on hydro power development will provide jobs to residents and will further the state’s and country’s goal of maximising this clean, indigenous energy source to help meet energy needs,’ said Narhari Rao, Deputy Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission.

The programme, approved by ADB’s Board of Directors in October 2008, is helping finance four run-of-river hydro power projects totalling 856MW. Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (HPPCL), the state government-owned power generation company, is developing the projects.

‘This programme not only benefits Himachal Pradesh by supplying affordable, reliable power to its residents, but will enable the export of excess power to the rest of the country for the benefit of power deficient states,’ said Pradodh Saxena from the Indian Ministry of Finance.

Himachal Pradesh, a small mountainous state with five major rivers, has about a quarter of India’s total potential hydro power resources. The state government has recognised this potential and approved a hydro power policy that aims to make Himachal Pradesh the leading state hydro power producer.