Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Dhaka, Delhi sign MoU for power sector cooperation

The government yesterday signed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with the Indian government with a provision of unlimited import of power from the Indian private sector.
According to MoU, Bangladesh will import 250 megawatt (MW) of power at government level while 1320MW coal-fired power plant will be installed in Khulna at private level under joint venture at an estimated cost of US$ 1.8 billion.
Power secretary Abul Kalam Azad told journalists after a joint steering committee meeting on power exchange between India and Bangladesh in the city’s Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Bhaban yesterday.
The National Thermal Power Cooperation (NTPC) of India and the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) signed the MoU at a city hotel. The BPDB and NTPC will have the equal share of the proposed coal based power plant.
The 17- member Indian delegation is headed by Indian power secretary HS Brammah.
Power secretary of Bangladesh said they have finalised 130 kilometre (KM) long grid connectivity installation between the two countries.
“Tender will be floated on February 28. We would be able to complete the installation of grid-connectivity between July 2010 and July 2012.The project requires 130km-long grid connectivity with 85km in Bangladesh and 45km in Indian side at a cost of Tk 1300 crore,” said power secretary.
The total cost for grid-connectivity line would be Tk. 1300 crore of which Tk 1100 crore will be required for Bangladesh and Tk 200 for India.
India will supply power to Bangladesh at the cheapest rates, Indian power secretary HS Brammah said adding,” The MoU is only the beginning. As a good neighbour, we can do a lot specially in generation area.”
Despite huge requirement of power in India, the government of India is very keen to help Bangladesh’s power sector development, Indian power secretary said. 
He said about two lakh MW of power would be required in India by 2013, while Bangladesh’s requirement during the period would be about 6000 MW meaning Dhaka has to increase its annual power generation by 2000 MW.
The grid will also allow both the countries for further steps to import or export power from each other, he said.
Abul Kalam Azad hoped the government would be able to supply 250 MW of power to the national grid from India in July 2012.
The cost of per unit imported power from India would be Rs 2.50 (Tk 3.50), he said.
According to MoU, the BPDB and Indian National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) will jointly construct 1320 MW coal-based power plant in Khulna. Imported coal would be used in the power plant, power secretary said.
He said procurement process of the power plant would start in July this year and it would need 48 months to complete the construction work.
The power plant would be conducted under the Indian NTPC management, Abul Kalam Azad said.
Besides, to increase power generation, the Indian NTPC offered to carry out technical assessment of BPDB’s old power stations for efficiency improvement, renovation and modernisation, he said.
He said the NTPC will provide training for power professionals of BPDB for skill and efficiency development.
The NTPC would provide consultancy service on exchange of power between the two countries, he said adding this service would be required to oversee several technical and financial issues including wheeling charge and tariff.
“Virtually the whole power sector of Bangladesh has been given to the Indian private sector as per the MoU,” an insider of the BPDB told The Independent.

Courtesy of The Independent

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