SILIGURI: Indian land between Bangladesh and Nepal is going to be the conduit for the two friendly international neighbors to have large scale hydropower trade in between. Bangladesh will have hydropower plants installed in Nepal and import the output through Indian land soon.
“Interest of Bangladesh to invest in harnessing untapped hydro potential of Nepal is going to put both the countries into a win win situation. India is playing the positive role of catalyst in it,” President, Rangpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Mostofa Sohrab Chowdhury told ET. RCCI is one of the largest Business and trade community platforms of Bangladesh.
Following expression of interest from Bangladesh to invest in Nepal’s hydropower sector couple of months back, Nepal submitted a list of seven possible projects. “Our Government is considering them,” said Chowdhury.
With a projected power demand of 34,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030 Bangladesh has present installed capacity of only 13,000 MW. Over 6 crore of its population is still out of national power grid coverage.
On the other side, against Nepal’s Economically feasible potential of 43,000 MW hydropower, existing installed capacity is around 1000MW only. Nepal has a set plan to establish 4500 MW fresh generation capacity.
These put together make Bangla-Nepal power trade a highly prospective investment sector. Following Bangladesh Government’s investment into it, private enterprises of the country are also likely to come forward giving the bilateral power deal a further boost.
The only question remained within this handshaking was availability of power transmission infrastructure that to be provided by India that has kept the two countries geographically separated.
But the new sub-regional framework Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) which has already been implemented, is bringing in a major and rapid change in the regional landscape in the fields like connectivity, transit, energy or grid.
Reportedly, Bangladesh Ambassador to Nepal Mashfee Binte Shams said, “India is positive and has agreed to allow transmission of electricity to Bangladesh from Nepal. We are ready to import electricity from Nepal after meeting Nepal’s requirements as ….