Feasibility study soon on installing electricity line between West Bengal and Nepal
The line is expected to facilitate electricity transmission to Bangladesh
Process underway to import 500MW electricity from Nepal
Bangladesh is likely to have a new avenue for importing electricity from Nepal as the Himalayan country has agreed to install a cross-border electricity transmission line with West Bengal, a state of eastern India.
The installation of the line is also expected to facilitate the proposed electricity trade between Nepal and Bangladesh via the Indian territory.
During the two-day bilateral meeting concluded on 24 February, India and Nepal decided to conduct a feasibility study on the electricity line installation, reports The Kathmandu Post. Joint-secretary and secretary-level officials of the two countries were present at the event.
Currently, Nepal has cross-border transmission lines with the Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, but it has no line with West Bengal.
"The more cross-border transmission lines will be installed, the more options of energy trading will be opened," said Mohammad Hossain, director-general of the Power Division, a wing of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.
Bangladesh is about to finalise a power purchase agreement with Nepal to import 500MW electricity from its proposed 900MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant – Upper Karnali Hydropower Project – which is supposed to be developed by India's GMR Group, he added.
According to the ministry, it would take four to five years to start the import from this plant.
Earlier in September 2021, Nepal and Bangladesh agreed to develop a dedicated transmission line between the two neighbouring countries. Besides, Dhaka expressed its interest in developing hydropower projects in Nepal.
Currently, Bangladesh imports 1,160MW power from India through Baharampur-Bheramara and Tripura-Cumilla cross-border grid lines.
The country needs higher power cross-border transmission lines as it has a target of increasing the share of imported electricity up to 15% by 2041 in the energy mix when the total generation capacity will reach 60,000MW.
At present, the country generates 52% of electricity from natural gas, 32% from liquid fuel and 8% from coal, while the rest 8% of electricity comes from imports.
"We also have a plan of conducting a feasibility study to find out the probable routes for setting up transmission lines for importing more electricity from neighbouring countries," said Golam Kibria, managing director of Power Grid Company of Bangladesh, the lone state-owned power transmission agency.