BANGLADESH LIKELY TO GET MORE POWER FROM INDIA
Independent Online/ JAGARAN CHAKMA
India is likely to export more power to Bangladesh. The issue will get more emphasis during the forthcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the minutes of an inter-ministerial meeting at the ministry of foreign affairs on May 18.
In their joint statement, the two Premiers are likely to declare that an additional 2,000 to 3,000 Mega Watt (MW) of power would be exported through an additional grid line in the western part of Bangladesh. They will discuss the proposed 6,500 to 7,000MW Rangia/Rowa-Barapukuria-Mozaffarbad grid line, with the power tapping point at Barapukuria.
According to the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), the actual power generated on June 1 was 7,782MW, while the generation capacity is over 11,000MW.
In 2009, when the Awami League came to power, the country’s power generation capacity was 4,942MW. Countrywide, electricity generation was 3,268MW at the beginning of 2009, and reached 7,418MW in July last year.
Annually, the increases have been 365MW, 775MW, 1,763MW, 951MW, 1163MW and 583MW in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Presently, 68 per cent of the total population has access to electricity, including renewable energy, and the per capita generation is 348kWH.
Bangladesh wants both equity participation in power dropping and equity participation in the power plants in North-East India, which will be mentioned in the joint statement.
Nepal and Bhutan will also be included in the joint statement on power export.
An Indian company, CMR, has expressed its interest to export 500MW of electricity to Bangladesh from Nepal.
Bangladesh will iterate interest to import electricity from Nepal and Bhutan under sub-regional cooperation and seek India’s consent to it.
Besides, the government is set to import another 600MW of power from India. On March 31, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved two projects on power imports, at a cost of Tk. 1,600 crore, to meet the growing demand.
Five hundred Mega Watt of power will be imported under the Tk. 1,405-crore “Bangladesh (Bheramara)-India (Baharampur) Grid Interconnection Project”, and 100MW under the Tk. 179.45 crore “Tripura (India)-Comilla South Substation (Bangladesh) Grid Interconnection Project”.
The cabinet committee on purchase has approved the decision to procure electricity from the Indian open market. As a result, the Power Development Board can now purchase 30-50MW of electricity from India for a period of one year, via a trading agent, to address a part of the domestic power shortage. The issue will be discussed at the bilateral meeting of the two South Asian leaders.
The minutes also pointed out that Bangladesh should keep in mind the principle of equity in the private sector investment from India in the power and energy sector. Bangladesh should welcome private investment from India in power generation, manufacturing and infrastructure development and start consultations soon. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) is likely to be signed regarding private investment in the power and energy sector from India.
Bangladesh will import 120,000 tonnes of diesel from Assam through a pipeline, replacing the delivery system involving oil tankers down the Brahmaputra to Baghabari, according to sources at the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
JUNE 04, 2015