Bangladesh, ADB ink 1 bln USD loan deal for 5 projects

DHAKA (Xinhua) -- The Bangladeshi government and the Asian Development (ADB) have inked five loan agreements worth over 1 billion U.S. dollars in total to help Bangladesh enhance energy efficiency, ensure vaccine supply security, develop infrastructure and systems related to clean drinking water and information technology (IT), and upgrade a trade corridor.    
The two sides signed the loan agreements on Tuesday. Among the projects, the Smart Metering Energy Efficiency Improvement Project will support the government's efforts to reduce losses by installing 650,000 smart prepaid gas meters (SPGMs) for residential customers.    
The Vaccines, Therapeutics, and Diagnostics Manufacturing and Regulatory Strengthening Project will establish a vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostics manufacturing facility and warehousing unit in Essential Drugs Company Limited's (EDCL) existing location at Gopalganj, with a capacity to manufacture 58 million vials of vaccines per year, said the Manila-based lender.    
It said the project will also support the manufacture of at least two full-cycle vaccines by developing a seed bank, master cell bank, and working cell bank, in addition to at least five fill-and-finish vaccines.    
According to the bank, the Chattogram Hill Tracts Inclusive and Resilient Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project will develop water treatment plants with a total capacity of 44 million liters per day in Bandarban, Lama, and Rangamati towns, as well as 24 kilometers of transmission line and 340 kilometers of new water distribution network to connect to households.    
The project will also develop two integrated waste management facilities to treat and manage fecal sludge and solid waste, it added.    
Also signed on Tuesday, a 300 million U.S. dollar loan agreement is intended to help upgrade the Dhaka-Northwest international trade corridor and a 100 million U.S. dollar loan agreement to improve computer science, software engineering, and IT programs in three universities in Bangladesh.