Tripura, Meghalaya want to sell power to Bangladesh

Two Northeastern states, Tripura and Meghalaya are looking at neighbouring Bangladesh to export excess power produced in the two states, and have sought the Centre’s support to make this proposition a reality.

bd-indiaPresenting Tripura’s case, state power minister Manik Dey said at the two-day power ministers’ conference that began on Thursday that since Bangladesh was interested in purchasing 100 MW of power from the 726.6 MW Palatana power project, it was now up to New Delhi to approve it.

“The government may kindly allow Tripura State Electricity Corporation Ltd, a state government undertaking, to sell 100 MW power to Bangladesh. Construction of transmission line has been already undertaken and is expected to be ready by December this year,” Dey said, pleading for issue of necessary direction by the Centre to commence commercial activities without delay.

Tripura’s 726.6 MW Palatana gas-based power project belongs to ONGC Tripura Power Company Ltd, a joint venture of ONGC, IL&FS and the government of Tripura. While President Pranab Mukherjee had formally inaugurated the first unit of 335 MW production in June 2013, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the second unit in December last year.

Meanwhile, the Meghalaya government has also moved the Centre to permit it to export to Bangladesh excess power produced in the state. While Meghalaya is looking for an opportunity to maximize its power generation, especially during the monsoon period, Bangladesh was a country with high demand for power, Meghalaya power minister Clement R Marak said at the power ministers’ conference.

The minister said that development of hydro power projects in Meghalaya was not encouraging because despite generation far exceeding the state’s demand during the monsoon period, the same can not be transmitted out of the region because of evacuation problems. “This results in spillage of water meant for power generation, whereas neighbouring Bangladesh is in need of power,” he said.

Interestingly, Bangladesh has been raising objections to construction of power projects on rivers in Meghalaya that flow out to that country. “There are four such projects in Meghalaya with a total installed capacity of 1,190 MW for which MoAs have been signed with independent power producers. Once the Centre permits export of power to Bangladesh, the neighbouring country may agree to the construction of the power projects since these will also benefit that country,” Marak said.

-Indian Express