A proposal will be moved at the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) meeting of Bangladesh-India power sector cooperation to import another 600 MW of electricity from the neighbouring country, official sources said.
At present, Dhaka imports a total of 500 MW of electricity – 50 percent from Indian public sector and the rest from Indian private sector – to increase power supply in the country.
Official sources here said Bangladesh recently received an initial confirmation from New Delhi to hold the 7th Indo-Bangla JSC meeting in Dhaka on March 31-April 1 this year.
The 6th JSC meeting was held in January last year in Dhaka while the 5th meeting took place in June last year in New Delhi. As per an understanding between the two nations, the two sides are to hold meeting after every six months, alternately in Dhaka and New Delhi.
At the last meeting in New Delhi, Bangladesh Power Secretary Monwar Islam and his Indian counterpart P Uma Shankar led their respective side.
Officials said Dhaka has been making preparation to hold the meeting in a successful manner so that both sides could make some breakthrough on the issue of power sector cooperation.
They said that in the coming meeting, Dhaka is planning to focus on import of more electricity from India and also expediting the implementation of 1,320 MW coal-fired power plant project in Rampal, Bagerhat.
“We’ll move a proposal to import another 600 MW of electricity from India. Of this, we’ll seek Indian consent to import 500 MW from Indian private plant operators through the Bheramara border,” said a top official at the Power Ministry who is involved in the planning. But the official was unwilling to be named as he is not authorised to speak on this sensitive issue.
He informed that Dhaka will seek another 100 MW power from Indian Palatana Plant in Tripura state. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina already made a request to her Indian counterpart recently, he said.
Another official said Dhaka is emphasising on import of more electricity from India in order to reduce its dependence on more costly power from rental and quick rental power plants, of which production cost is nearly Tk 18 per unit.
Cost of per unit electricity from India comes to average Tk 6 as import from Indian public sector costs Tk 5.45 per unit while import from Indian private sector costs Tk 6.43 per unit, the official added.