Bangladesh signs 35-year power transmission deal with India

14:38, July 27, 2010      

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Bangladesh has signed a 35-year power transmission agreement with India aiming to import 250 megawatt (MW) electricity from the neighbor, starting from late 2012.

Representatives of the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd ( PGCIL), and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) signed the deal at a ceremony in Dhaka Monday night in presence of the Bangladesh Finance Minister, Energy Adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister, and other officials of both countries, leading English newspaper The Daily Star reported on Tuesday.

The agreement keeps the provision for Bangladesh to export power to India in the future, and the transmission system will have the capacity to exchange 500 MW of power soon after the system is launched.

"This is a small step for Bangladesh and India, but a giant leap for regional cooperation," said Bangladesh Prime Minister's Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury.

The agreement is the result of a memorandum of understanding signed on January 3 this year during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi.

BPDB Chairman Alamgir Kabir noted it was the first step in regional cooperation in energy, and in the future more interconnections might be built with Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar to ensure greater energy security.

According to the agreement, PGCIL will invest and construct 80 km of transmission line and own, operate and maintain it. The Indian company will recover the construction cost under a fixed rate over 35 years. BPDB officials said PGCIL will incur a cost of about 800 million Indian rupees (17 million U.S. dollars).

The Indian power and transmission tariff will be determined by the Indian Energy Regulatory Commission. BPDB will pay the transmission tariff on a monthly basis.

During the tenure of the agreement, if the line is used by any other beneficiary in either country, the transmission charges will be proportionally shared by the beneficiary. The BPDB chairman explained to the press, "If in future we can export power, the beneficiary or the Indian consumers will share the cost. This is why this agreement is a power exchange deal."

Source: Xinhua


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