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ADB Expands Lending to Reliance Power for Solar-Thermal Project

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- The Asian Development Bank agreed to lend a further $103 million to a solar power project owned by Reliance Power Ltd. in India.

The Manila-based bank approved a $48 million loan for Reliance’s 40-megawatt Dahanu photovoltaic project in December. That plant is being expanded to include a 100-megawatt solar-thermal farm, S. Chander, the ADB’s director-general of sustainable development, said today at a conference in Jodhpur in Rajasthan state.

Solar-thermal technology harnesses sunlight to heat liquids that produce steam for generators; photovoltaic plants use panels to turn sunlight directly into power.

The solar-thermal plant is expected to be completed in May 2013 and will cost about $415 million, according to Michael Barrow, a director at the ADB. It will be built adjacent to the photovoltaic plant, and the two will share a transmission line, he said.

Reliance earlier this month selected France’s Areva SA as its contractor to build as much as 250 megawatts of solar-thermal capacity in India. The U.S. Export-Import Bank said on April 13 that it will provide Reliance with an $80.3 million loan to purchase technology from Areva’s U.S. unit and other suppliers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Mumbai at npearson7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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