SAARC FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT FOR ENERGY COOPERATION (ELECTRICITY) FINALIZED
It has been finalized at the fifth SAARC energy ministers meeting concluded in New Delhi on October 17.
The ministers assured the agreement to be approved by their respective governments to facilitate signing it during the forthcoming SAARC Summit scheduled to be held in November, 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
“If the framework agreement is implemented, Bangladesh will be able to solve its power crisis to a large extent,” State Minister for Energy and Power Nasrul Hamid told a post-meeting press conference.
He had separate meetings with India, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives on the sidelines of the two-day meeting.
Indian coal and power minister Piyush Goyal and power ministers of Nepal, Bhutan, the Maldives and Afghanistan attended the press conference. Pakistan refrained from attending the meeting.
The Indian minister said finalization of the framework agreement is a landmark progress in energy cooperation in SAARC region.
He said the SAARC energy ministers had initiated discussions on the possibilities of an integrated power transmission grid between India and its neighboring countries including Bhutan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. “We are yet to draw up full fledged plans on the proposed grid.”
Through the SAARC grid, excess production of power in one region can easily be used to meet deficit elsewhere.
He said that hydroelectric power generated in North East India could be transported via Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, on to Afghanistan, or offshore wind projects could be set up in Sri Lanka’s coastal borders to power Pakistan or Nepal.
Goyal said this project will not only strengthen the economic ties among the SAARC nations but also deepens the people to people relationship.
SAARC is a robust market but constraints are primarily on the supply side as there are pockets where deficits persist, he said.
Bangladesh seeks 1000MW more power from India
During the meeting with his Indian counterpart, Hamid urged India to export 1000MW more power to Bangladesh and India responded positively and assured of enhancing the capacity of the grid to 3000MW.
Besides, India has also agreed to supply 500MW more power daily through Bahrampur-Bheramara Grid Line. India is currently giving Bangladesh 500MW daily through this grid.
NOVEMBER 01, 2014