Beijing: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a loan of $160 million to finance a power project in India, the bank said on Wednesday.
The project, co-financed with the World Bank, is part of the government's "24x7 Power for All programme" and will strengthen the power transmission and distribution system in Andhra Pradesh, Xinhua news agency reported.
The 24x7 Power for All is an initiative by the government to ensure availability of 24x7 power supply to all households, industries, commercial businesses, public needs and any other electricity consuming entity and adequate power to agriculture consumers by 2019.
AIIB President Jin Liqun praised the multilateral development bank's close work with India, AIIB's second-largest shareholder, in energy and other infrastructure sectors.
"AIIB supports its members in their transition toward a low-carbon energy mix by promoting the improvement of energy efficiency, such as upgrading the existing transmission and distribution networks," he said.
The bank expects the Andhra Pradesh-24x7 Power for All project to be the first of many projects AIIB invests in India, said Jin.
It "will be the starting point for AIIB to extend its assistance to other countries in Asia moving towards an 'Energy for all' initiative," said D.J. Pandian, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of AIIB.
The AIIB was set up in 2015 and started operation in January 2016 to provide financing for infrastructure improvement in Asia. Its membership has increased to 70, with 13 new countries approved in March.