Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal to invest $8.1bn in smart grid
June 14, 2016
The south Asian countries of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal plan to invest US$8.1bn in smart grid infrastructure to modernise power sectors, which are struggling due to increasing pressure from rising electricity demand, failure to collect revenue and poor reliability.
With the aid of multilateral and bilateral lending organisations, these countries will make significant investments in smart grid infrastructure over the next decade to modernise their grids, particularly in the metering segment. Smart grid investment is projected to total $8.1bn over the period 2016 to 2026 with additional investment in prepaid metering, according to a study by Northeast Group.
"The south Asian region is facing a number of challenges, including the highest transmission and distribution loss rates and highest projected GDP growth rates of any region in the world," said Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group. "There are already large-scale plans to address these challenges, including a $177m AMI investment plan in Pakistan and a target to deploy prepaid meters to all residential customers in Bangladesh."
The four countries covered in the study – Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal – all have low per-capita consumption and a history of stalled power sector projects. But many of these hurdles will be overcome through large-scale funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, and bilateral aid organisations such as USAID and the German KfW.
The ADB in particular has pledged nearly $1bn in aid for overall power sector development in Pakistan. Additionally, large-scale smart grid plans in India will have positive spill-overs in the region.
Both local and international vendors are active in projects throughout the region. Major global vendors such as EDMI and Osaki, GE, Itron, Landis+Gyr and Secure Meters are all involved in the region's activity. There is also an increasing presence of Chinese vendors pursuing projects. Local vendors are led by the Pakistani vendor Microtech, as well as several Bangladeshi vendors active in the country's prepaid rollout.