Dhaka now finds Tripura ‘unsuitable’ for power import
Bangladesh wants to import 340 MW electricity from other part of India instead of previously proposed Tripura as its transmission system is said to be weak.
“We’ve discussed such a proposal at a meeting of the joint steering committee on Bangladesh-India Power Sector Cooperation. Both sides agreed to study the technical aspects of the proposal,” said Bangladesh power secretary Ahmad Kaikaus while briefing reporters about the outcome of the meeting.
Kaikaus led the Bangladesh team at the meeting held at a city hotel.
Currently, Bangladesh is importing 1,160 MW of electricity from India of which 1,000 MW is coming from West Bengal through Bhreramara substation while 160 MW from Tripura through Cumilla.
The proposed 340 MW is an addition to this current cross-border electricity trade between Dhaka and New Delhi.
The 17th meeting of the joint steering committee concluded here with discussing various issues relating to power sector cooperation between the two neighbouring nations.
India’s power secretary Indian Subhash Chandra Garg, who led his country at the meeting, said both sides are happy with the progress in the power sector cooperation and agreed to continue the cooperation.
Kaikaus said the proposed import of 340 MW is in addition to the existing supply and Bangladesh finds the proposed 340 MW import technically and financially unviable as the transmission system from Tripura is “weak”.
He said Bangladesh now has available electricity in Cumilla region which is being generated from gas-fired plants at a lower cost.
“So, we’ll prefer the proposed 340 MW to be imported for regions like Rangpur, Dinajpur and Thakurgaon where there is power shortage and liquid fuel is used to generate electricity at higher cost,” he said.
Kaikaus said Bangladesh also wants to export electricity during its off-peak season of winter to Indian market if it finds any suitable buyer as there is no bar on export or import of electricity to or from India as Indian regulatory authority allows such trade.
He also said Bangladesh-India’s joint venture Rampal power project has so far made 40 percent progress and its construction will be completed within a few months of targeted time frame.