India agrees to allow power trade through its territory

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    Jan 23, 2017- Nepal will now be able to export power to Bangladesh via India as the southern neighbour has agreed to allow the use of its territory for electricity trade.

    Bangladeshi State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid was quoted by local media as saying that they had received India’s consent for the use of its territory.

    “We have received Indian consent to import power from Nepal. Now Bangladesh will sign a deal with Nepal to set up a power plant by investing there,” The Financial Express quoted Hamid as saying.

    India’s agreement will benefit Nepal as it can evacuate surplus energy to Bangladesh via Indian territory. Moreover, Bangladesh has lately expressed ‘keen interest’ in importing electricity from Nepal besides constructing large hydropower projects here. When Energy Minister Janardan Sharma visited Bangladesh last December, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed had also expressed interest in investing in hydropower in Nepal.

    During the meeting, the two countries agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work together in hydropower development. Immediately upon returning from Bangladesh, Sharma directed ministry officials to draft an MoU and send it to Dhaka for approval. “Currently, we are waiting for word from Bangladesh,” said Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, joint secretary at the Energy Ministry. “After getting the approval from Bangladesh, the understanding will be signed and a mechanism to implement it will be formed jointly.”

    Nepal has invited Bangladeshi State Minister Hamid to Nepal for the signing ceremony, Ghimire added.

    Bangladesh is an energy-hungry country while Nepal has a huge potential to generate hydroelectricity. Therefore, it will be a win-win situation for both to work together.

    Likewise, Bangladesh had evinced desire to invest in hydroelectricity in Nepal during the 9th South Asian Economic Summit 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 more than 1,600 MW in Nepal.

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

    As per the agreement, the electricity produced by the two hydro projects will be evacuated to Bangladesh via India through the BBIN economic corridor.

    However, no further headway has been made since then as the Commerce Ministry has not talked to the Energy Ministry about it.

     

    Source :The Kathmandu Post