The Nepal government is planning to export electricity to Bangladesh by using Indian territory. This will become possible only after the country establishes a power link with Indian state of West Bengal (WB).
Nepal currently has cross-border transmission traces with states Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in India, reports The Kathmandu Post, one of the leading dailies of Nepal.
Efforts are underway for a feasibility test on establishing a cross border transmission line between Nepal and WB following the high-level conferences on bilateral power sector cooperation held in Kathmandu on 23-24 February.
According to Nepalese officials, transmission connectivity with WB might additionally open an avenue for transporting the country's electricity to Bangladesh by using Indian territory.
Speaking with the daily, Chiranjeevi Chataut, joint-secretary of the Nepalese Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, said, "The immediate purpose of the agreement with India is to find if transmission connectivity between Nepal and the WB is possible.
"Once connectivity is established with this part of India, the possibility of exporting electricity to Bangladesh from Nepal through an existing or new dedicated transmission line in WB cannot be ruled out."
The Kathmandu Post, citing the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), reported that there is a 132kV substation on Nepal's Anarmani space of Jhapa and has plans to prolong the under-construction 400kV Hetauda-Bardibas-Inaruwa Transmission Line to Anarmani.
The WB funded the feasibility examination. Once this power line is prepared, there can be two connecting factors –132kV and 400kV – on the Nepal facet, the report added.
Nepal and India have agreed to test the potential for interconnection between the former and WB.
This comes at a time when Bangladesh has shown curiosity in investing within the hydropower sector of Nepal and buying power. Additionally, Nepal and Bangladesh have been holding talks for power buying and selling between the two nations.
Bangladesh has already decided to purchase 500MW of electricity from the 900MW Upper Karnali Hydropower Project and India's GMR Group, which has arranged GMR Upper Karnali Hydropower Limited, is getting ready to develop the mission in Nepal.
During a secretary-level joint steering committee assembly between Nepal and Bangladesh in September last, either side had agreed to develop a devoted transmission line between the two nations by taking India on board, reads the The Kathmandu Post report.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has expressed curiosity in growing hydropower initiatives in Nepal, together with the Sunkoshi III Hydropower Project, in accordance with the energy ministry.