Bangladesh is ready to buy 200 megawatts of electricity

Indian land has to be used for Nepal-Bangladesh electricity trade, for that a trilateral agreement has to be reached, but so far no joint meeting has been held

KATHMANDU: Bangladesh has said that it can take about 100 megawatts of electricity from Nepal immediately. About 1 dozen agendas were discussed in Wednesday’s meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) of Energy Joint Secretary of both countries. In which electricity business has been raised with priority. After the discussion, the officials of both the countries agreed that ‘if India cooperates, electricity trade between Nepal and Bangladesh can be done now’.

“Bangladesh has already said that it can get electricity from 100 to 200 megawatts,” said an official participating in the discussion, “but for that, the Indian government agencies Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) and Power System Operation Corporation Limited Consent is required. Both sides have agreed to try to persuade India.

In the discussion on Wednesday, the main agenda was the issue of making a Power Trade Agreement. Under which, the possibility of energy trade between the two countries, trade patterns, terms and conditions, transmission system, role of regulatory bodies and other topics were discussed. Although Nepal’s electricity can reach Bangladesh using the Indian transmission system, it requires the consent of all three parties.

During the third meeting of JWG and JSC held on August 29 last year, Bangladesh requested 200 MW of electricity from Nepal. However, how Nepal’s electricity will be delivered to Bangladesh has not yet been decided. Nepal should use India’s transmission line for electricity trade with Bangladesh. In electricity trade or exchange

Since India’s land has to be used, there has been talk about the need to discuss and negotiate trilaterally. However, no tripartite meeting between Nepal-India-Bangladesh has been held so far. The meeting of Nepal-Bangladesh Energy Secretary-level Joint Steering Committee (JSC) is being held today. The discussions in the JWG meeting will be finalized through the JSC.

In the third meeting of JWG and JSC, both parties also agreed to seek joint investment in 683 MW Sunkosi-3 and 600 MW Khimti-Shivalaya reservoir projects. The progress made so far has also been discussed in the fourth meeting. From the third meeting, a schedule was set for on-site inspection of Sunkosi-3 reservoir hydropower project by December 2021, feasibility study by April 2022 and project selection in the fourth meeting of JWC and JSC.

According to which the Bangladeshi team has already inspected the project twice. Both the countries are discussing whether the Sunkosi-3 project can be carried forward by opening an investment company in a joint venture between Nepal Electricity Authority and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB).

The feasibility study of Sunkosi-3 project has been completed and the environmental impact assessment is being done by the Power Development Department.

Similarly, the feasibility study of another Khimti-Shivalaya reservoir hydroelectric project in which Bangladesh is interested is being studied. Nepal has informed Bangladesh that the work will be completed by December 2023.

Earlier, Bangladesh had also shown willingness to invest in Sunkosi-2 with a production capacity of 1,110 MW. The Power Development Department has also prepared a detailed project report (DPR) after taking a loan of 600 million rupees from the Asian Development Bank for this project. However, officials of the Ministry of Energy say that recently, Bangladesh has been reluctant in Sunkosi-2.

It is reported that the Upper Karnali hydropower project was also discussed in the JWG meeting. Since the Indian company Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao (GMR) got the license for Upper Karnali, he has not been able to manage the finances till now.

GMR has been saying that it has already agreed to sell electricity in Bangladesh. The Council of Ministers has already decided to extend 2 years time for financial management to GMR, which has said to sell 500 megawatts of electricity to Bangladesh. Bangladesh officials have informed Nepal that they are preparing to sign a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with GMR soon.

Bangladesh is a potential big market for Nepal’s hydropower. During the 18th SAARC conference held in Kathmandu in November 2071, Bangladesh made a proposal for regional electricity trade and cooperation for the first time. After that proposal, according to the concept of ‘SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation’, Bangladesh is cooperating with neighboring countries including Nepal in the energy sector.

During the ‘South Asia Economic Conference’ held in Dhaka in July 2075, a preliminary agreement was signed between Nepal and Bangladesh to cooperate in the energy sector.

In August 2018, a formal agreement was signed between the then Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Barshman Pun and Bangladesh’s Minister of State for Power, Energy and Minerals Nasrul Hamid on bilateral cooperation in the energy sector. After the agreement, JSC and JWG were formed between the two countries.

The JSC meeting held in Kathmandu on August 29 last year agreed to create a dedicated transmission line for electricity trade and exchange. It was also agreed to build a dedicated transmission line to trade electricity in the long term and discuss it tripartitely, including India.

However, a tripartite meeting between Nepal, India and Bangladesh has not been held so far. Nepal said last August that it can sell 200 megawatts of electricity to Bangladesh. However, as India’s consent is required to sell electricity to Bangladesh, the issue has not yet been implemented. Nepal-Bangladesh cooperation in the fields of solar energy and renewable energy has also been discussed.

Bangladeshi delegation overview the construction site of Sunkishi-3

Bangladesh is ready to invest in the 683 MW Sunkosi-3 reservoir hydroelectric project identified on the border of Kavre and Ramechhap. The team led by the Secretary of the Ministry of Electricity, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh Mohammad Habibur Rahman and the joint team of the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation of Nepal, the Department of Power Development and the Electricity Authority visited the proposed construction site and the reservoir area of ​​the project on Monday.

This is the second time that Bangladesh’s top officials have made an on-site visit to the project. Bangladesh Ambassador to Nepal Salahuddin Noman Choudhary along with high officials also visited the project in the last week of June.

After the observation visit, Secretary Rahman said that Bangladesh is willing and ready to proceed with the construction of Sunkosi-3 and other hydropower projects in collaboration with Nepal in a program held at Lubhughat in Khandadevi village of Ramechhap. The estimated cost of the project is 1 billion 458 million US dollars.

Bangladesh is ready to advance Sunkosi as a pilot project with the investment of two countries. “Bangladesh is honest and serious about investing in the project,” he said.

In addition to this, the private sector of Bangladesh can also invest in projects in cooperation with the private sector of Nepal.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) identified the Sunkosi-3 project in 1985 during the Koshi River Water Resources Development Study. According to the project feasibility study conducted by the Electricity Development Department, the river will be blocked by constructing a 180 meter high dam at Lubhughat on the border of Khandadevi in ​​Ramechhap and Temal Rural Municipality in Kavre.

The reservoir of the project will extend 45 km towards Sunkosi river at Sindhupalchok above Balefi Bazar and towards Sipaghat towards Indravati river. 45 wards of 13 local levels of Sindhuli, Kavre, Ramechhap and Sindhupalchok will be affected by the project.

3 thousand 237 hectares of land will fall. For this, 3,300 hectares of private land will have to be acquired and 655 hectares of forest area will be covered. It is seen that 11,700 people will be displaced by the project. Out of the 2.35 billion 62 million units of electricity produced annually by the project, 62.23 million units will be produced in winter.

Fiscal Nepal |
Thursday August 25, 2022, 12:51:37 PM |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *