Saarc Energy Regulators for increasing cross border energy trade

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    Islamabad

    South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Energy Regulators who gathered in Islamabad on Wednesday stressed upon the member states to increase cross border electricity trade as to resolve the energy problem and boost their economies.

    The third meeting of the energy regulators of Saarc held here and which was attended by member states, chairperson of the Saarc Energy Regulators, Tariq Saddozai of Pakistan, said that there is a need of cross border electricity trade to resolve the energy problems. He said that Pakistan had already submitted a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to India on importing 1200 megawatts of electricity.

    He said that besides importing 100 MWs from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan through CASA project, will import 1,300MWs electricity from Central Asian countries, Saddozai said while addressing the two-day meeting of the Saarc Energy Regulators here.

    Tariq Saddozai who is the chairman of the Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) was elected as Chairperson of the Saarc Energy Regulators Meeting. The first meeting of Saarc Energy Regulators was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2014 and the Second in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2015.

    Saarc Energy Regulators Meeting is a drive by energy regulators representing all Saarc member countries to harmonise the Regulations, Codes and Standards relating to transmission and distribution of electricity and synchronise their regulatory frameworks for cross-border electricity trade. Given the importance of regional energy cooperation and promotion of cross-border electricity trade in the Saarc region this meeting is an important milestone in reviewing the implementation status of Saarc Plan of Action on Energy Regulations (Electricity).

    Saddozai urged the Saarc energy regulators to make collective efforts for the development of efficient conventional and renewable energy resources, strengthening of related transmission systems and cross-border electricity trade for their sustainable development. “The issues pertaining to the imported and exported electricity’s tariff can also be resolved through bilateral negotiations,” he said.

    Saddozai said that Pakistan had also submitted a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to India on importing 1,200MW of electricity.

    He stressed the need for cooperation for the development of efficient conventional and renewable energy resources, strengthening of related transmission systems and cross-border electricity trade for sustainable development of member states.

    “We believe that Saarc countries are facing similar issues and there is need for alternative energy to offset dependence on imported and expensive fuels” Tariq Saddozai said. Chairperson , Saarc Energy Regulator, said that power sector in Pakistan was in transition towards a competitive regime which was targeted to be achieved by 2020, adding the Pakistan had established one window facilitators such as PPIB and AEDB to encourage private sector investment in electricity generation.

    Tariq Saddozai said that Nepra Act envisages open access to transmission and distribution systems. Nepra Interim Power Procurement Regulations had been framed to allow foreign generation companies to sell electricity to power purchasers.

    He said Saarc Framework Agreement emphasised mutual cooperation on development of efficient conversational and renewable energy resources, energy efficiency and energy conservation, sharing of knowledge and promoting competition.

    He said joint research, reeducation of losses and grid integration for renewable energy were low hanging fruits, adding, member countries could all benefits from each other on these subject.”

    “We have benefited from the experience of Saarc member states for determining tariff of high-voltage, direct current (HVDC line and received excellent feedback from member states thorough Sarrc Energy Centre,” he maintained.

    The Meeting of Saarc Energy Regulators recognises that interactions and dialogues have to be established among the stakeholders of the sector including the regulators in the member states in order to effectively materialise the issue of regional energy cooperation.

    Earlier the Secretary Cabinet in his inaugural speech said that Saarc member states were struggling with a massive gap in demand and supply. He said that there was a need to address energy security from a regional perspective.

    Delegations of participating states presented their country papers on the existing Regulatory Mechanisms, Rules, Methodologies and Processes of respective Members States.

    Delegates who attend the meeting are Mujtaba Yaseen , First secretary , High Commission, Afghanistan, Najmul Huda Dy. High Commissioner, High Commission, Bangladesh, Thukten Wangmo, Chief (Monitoring Division) from Bhutan Electricity Authority, Raghuram , First Secretary, High Commission, India, Ahmed Mujabta, First Secretary /Dy. Head of Mission, High Commission, Maldives, Mr Ambu Bhawani karki, Member, Electricity Tariff Fixation Commission, Nepal, C.N. Saliya W. Mathew, Chairman , Public Utilities Commission, Sri Lanka and Garmini Hearath, Deputy Director General, public Utilities Commission, Sri Lanka.

    Source : The News