KABUL -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is granting a $4 million (316.6 million AFN) loan to build a 15 MW solar-power plant in Afghanistan, the ADB said in a statement on Tuesday (May 21).
The borrower is Barakat Kandahar Solar Energy, a company majority owned by the 77 Afghanistan engineering firm. 77 Afghanistan is a subsidiary of the Turkish company 77 Group.
"Having a stable, sustainable, and reliable energy source is important for the growth and development prospects of Afghanistan," ADB official Mohammed Azim Hashimi said in the statement.
Afghanistan ranks in the bottom 5% of countries in per capita electricity usage. Only 30% of Afghans were connected to the power grid in 2015. Solar power accounts for only about 1% of the Afghan energy mix.
The Afghan government plans to have renewable power, including solar, contribute at least 40% of the country's electricity by 2032.
The Kandahar Solar Power Project, when complete, will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 8,500 tonnes. Its completion date wasn't disclosed.