Nepal has sought approval from the Indian authorities to export 40-50MW of electricity to Bangladesh through India’s existing transmission infrastructure, says the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
In August last year, the two countries decided to request the southern neighbour to allow the export of 40-50MW of electricity from Nepal to Bangladesh in the initial phase by utilising the high-voltage Baharampur-Bheramara cross-border power transmission link, reports the Kathmandu Post.
As per the understanding reached during the secretary-level Joint Steering Committee (JSC) formed for Nepal-Bangladesh energy cooperation, the NEA and the Bangladesh Power Development Board would request India’s NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam for a trilateral energy sales and purchase agreement utilising the power line.
“Initially, the Indian company responded that India’s existing transmission infrastructure may not have extra capacity to accommodate Nepal’s power to send it to Bangladesh,” said Kul Man Ghising, managing director of the NEA.
“We have made a second request to the Indian side and they have responded saying that they would reassess the transmission capacity and respond,” he added.
According to him, informal discussions with the Indian authorities continue.
Nepali officials and private sector representatives had raised the issue during a recent interaction with Indian officials in New Delhi when they were taking part in the Power Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries on grid connectivity in the Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) on 16 December.
The Nepali side had held discussions with the officials of the Power Grid Corporation of India. “They told us that the Baharampur-Bheramara line is fully occupied and there is no extra capacity to accommodate Nepal’s power through the line,” said Ashish Garg, vice-president of the Independent Power Producers’ Association, who participated in the event.
NEA chief Ghising also confirmed the reply by Indian officials but said Nepal has requested the Indian side to accommodate an additional 40-50MW in the transmission line that has the capacity to carry 1,000MW of electricity.
Alongside Nepal, the Bangladesh government has also asked the Indian authorities to facilitate power trade between the two countries.