10 Sep 2010

Marshall Islands and ADB sign agreements for loans and grants

9:14 am on 10 September 2010

The Asian Development Bank and Marshall Islands officials signed agreements in Majuro on Wednesday for a combination of loans and grants totalling 16.2 million US dollars.

The funds improve energy self-reliance by using coconut oil biofuel in the Pacific nation's main power utility, relieving the company of high-interest bank debt, and extending power services to low-income families.

The ADB Pacific Director, Sungsup Ra, says part of the loan taken will go towards the government's main power utility for a commercial bank debt swap to a one-percent interest rate.

The General Manager of the Marshalls Energy Company, David Paul, says the loan will give the Marshalls Energy Company financial breathing room to invest in the engines and recapitalize the company

A year ago the Energy Company was 17 million dollars in debt, was suffering an annual loss of more than 3 million, and its infrastructure was in disrepair.