B’desh ‘keen’ to develop big hydel projects in Nepal

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    Dec 11, 2016- Bangladesh has expressed “keen interest” in developing large hydropower projects in Nepal.

    The view was expressed by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed during a recent meeting with Energy Minister Janardan Sharma in Dhaka.

    Minister Sharma held talks with Bangladeshi State Minister of Power Nasrul Hamid at a meeting where the Bangladeshi prime minister was also present. Both the sides discussed on making joint investments for the development of  hydroelectricity.

    “Bangladesh has expressed interest to invest in Nepal’s hydropower. Dhaka is also keen on importing electricity from Nepal,” Minister Sharma told the Post.

    Sharma said that he learnt that Bangladesh had forwarded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to the Nepal government a year and a half ago which was not responded.

    “I have promised them a new MoU within a week. If everything pans out well, we will be signing the MoU with Bangladesh within a month,” he said, addeding that once the understanding is signed, a mechanism to implement the understanding will be formed jointly.

    Nepal has invited Bangladeshi State Minister Hamid to Nepal to sign the MoU.

    Bangladesh has a huge demand of electricity and Nepal has a huge potential to generate hydroelectricity, he said. “Therefore, it would be a win-win situation for both the countries if we work together.

    “Also, Bangladesh has the experience of generating 10,000MW of electricity over the past seven years. We can learn a lot from that,” he said.

    During the meeting, both the countries also agreed to form secretary- and joint-secretary-level mechanisms similar to the one that Nepal shares with India.

    Bangladesh had also shown its interest to invest in hydroelectricity in Nepal during the 9th South Asian Economic Summit that it hosted in October. On the sidelines of the event, Commerce Minister Romi Gauchan Thakali and his Bangladeshi counterpart Tofail Ahmed signed an agreement to build two hydroelectric plants capable of generating over 1,600 megawatts of electricity in Nepal.

    The proposed projects are 1,110 MW Sunkoshi II and 536 MW Sunkoshi III located at Sunkoshi River in central Nepal. Both the countries have agreed to develop the projects under the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) initiative which was signed by four countries to facilitate the regional trade and business.

    As per the agreement, electricity produced from Sunkoshi River would be evacuated to Bangladesh via India through the BBIN economic corridor. However, no headway has been made on that front after the Commerce Ministry failed to communicate with the Energy Ministry on the issue.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post