Bangladesh agrees to open power corridor for India

Dhaka has agreed to provide transit facility for a 6,000-megawatt Indian power transmission line while parts of the quantum could be used by Bangladesh.

“A committee has been formed to see the feasibility of transmitting power through Rangia Raota in Assam to Borakpur in Bihar through Boro Pukuria in northwestern Dinajpur in Bangladesh,” Bangladesh’s power secretary Monowar Islam told a joint media briefing with his Indian counterpart Pradeep Kumar Sinha on Thursday.

bd-indiaThe briefing came after a joint steering committee meeting on India-Bangladesh power sector cooperation, report the Times of India.

While Islam said that the committee was asked to submit the report within six months, Sinha said the steering committee approved the technical committee recommendations in this regard.

The briefing was told that the two countries were also set to join a proposed regional grid connectivity also involving Bhutan and Nepal through a new electricity network.

“We (India and Bangladesh) have a come to a positive development on the issue relating to joint mechanism between India, Bangladesh Bhutan and Nepal,” Sinha said.

Sinha said Delhi would host a meeting in May where Nepal and Bhutan would also join to discuss how the four countries could cooperate each other to explore the power sector potentials.

India, meanwhile, agreed to provide 130 MW more electricity to Bangladesh and of the quantum Dhaka could import 100 MW from India’s Tripura state and the rest 30 MW from India’s private sector through the Bheramara sub-station.

The developments came six months after the Indo-Bangla cooperation in power sector entered a new phase with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her counterpart Manmohan Singh breaking grounds for a 1320 megawatt joint venture coal-fired plant.

India’s NTPC is constructing the plant at southwestern Rampal.

Sinha said the first unit of the plant is expected to be commissioned by December 2018.

“I have no doubt that the NTPC will be able to achieve this project it has fixed,” he said.

The two countries simultaneously launched a joint transmission line to export power to Bangladesh under separate arrangements in October last year to export 250 megawatt power to Bangladesh.

Under the steering committee agreement today, Bangladesh is likely to import the additional 30-35 mw power using the transmission like from Indian private sector.

Bangladesh’s overall electricity generation is now around 6,000 MW against the demand for over 7,500 MW, while the government planned to augment the quantum to 24,000 mw by 2021, also eyeing to import power from neighbouring Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.