Bangladesh asked India for a route to take Nepal’s electricity

KATHMANDU: Bangladesh has requested India to open the way to take Nepal’s electricity. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is on a visit to India from September 5 to 8, during her meeting with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, asked for permission to take electricity produced in Nepal and Bhutan from Indian soil.

“Bangladesh has sought India’s permission to take electricity from Nepal and Bhutan,” said a statement issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday. The Indian side has already prepared guidelines for international electricity trade and has replied that they can proceed accordingly.

The Ministry of Electricity of India has issued ‘Guidelines for Import/Export (Cross Border) of Electricity’ in 2018. According to the guidelines, India has given the answer to Bangladesh that bilateral and multilateral agreements can be made for international electricity trade.

According to the statement, both the countries have agreed on the construction of international electricity connectivity for regional cooperation in the energy sector. A 765 kV transmission line is proposed to be constructed from Katihar in Bihar to Assam via Parvatipur in Bangladesh.

Both countries will establish a joint company to build the transmission line. Bangladesh wants to buy electricity from Nepal, while Nepal is also ready to sell excess electricity to Bangladesh. But Nepal’s electricity can reach Bangladesh only by using the Indian transmission system. Therefore, the agreement of all three countries is necessary for international electricity trade.

In the fourth meeting of Energy Secretary-level Joint Steering Committee (JSC) and Joint Secretary-level Joint Working Group (JWG) of Nepal and Bangladesh held in Kathmandu on August 8 and 9, it was agreed that 50 megawatts of electricity can be bought and sold immediately between the two countries.

The officials of both the countries also agreed on the issue of tripartite discussions with the relevant bodies there as Indian land has to be used to transport Nepal’s electricity to Bangladesh. Electricity from Nepal does not go directly to Bangladesh using Indian transmission lines. Bangladesh is now buying electricity from India, but it is demanding electricity from Nepal through the same system.

India has authorized NTPC Electricity Trading Corporation (NVVN) for international electricity trading. The Indian company NVVN is working as an intermediary in the current electricity trade between Nepal and India and India and Bangladesh. Therefore, the role of NVVN is also being sought in the electricity trade between Nepal and Bangladesh.

During the 4th meeting of Nepal-Bangladesh JSC and JWG, it was pointed out that a tripartite agreement is needed in which Nepal will provide electricity to NVVN and NVVN will provide the same amount to Bangladesh. There have been initiatives for such tripartite discussions since the past, but even so far, cooperation in the energy sector
Therefore, the tripartite meeting between Nepal-India-Bangladesh has not been held.

Fiscal Nepal |
Friday September 9, 2022, 05:12:29 PM |

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