Bangladesh greenlights purchase of 40 MW electricity from Nepal


December 8, 2023


Bangladesh greenlights purchase of 40 MW electricity from Nepal

Transmission line/Image for Representation

KATHMANDU: The Bangladesh government has given the green light to acquire 40 MW of electricity from Nepal.

The Council of Ministers granted preliminary approval to the proposal for importing electricity from Nepal, as reported by Dhaka Tribune.

The meeting did not disclose the payment details to the Nepal Electricity Authority, leaving this aspect to be deliberated in the upcoming meeting of the Committee on Public Procurement (CCGP) of the Cabinet.

Minister of State for Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid had earlier expressed confidence in the likelihood of electricity imports from Nepal.

Bangladesh had strategically planned to initiate the process before the onset of winter, and reciprocally, expressed intentions to export surplus electricity to Nepal.

In the context of seasonal variations in electricity demand, Bangladesh experiences a decrease during winter, while Nepal encounters an increase.

Media reports from Bangladesh reveal that, following extensive political and bilateral discussions among Nepal, India, and Bangladesh, India has consented to permit Bangladesh to import 40 MW of electricity from Nepal, utilizing its transmission line infrastructure.

This decision was solidified during a two-day Joint Steering Committee (JSC) and Joint Working Committee (JWC) meeting held in Patuwakhali, Bangladesh, on May 14 and 15 of the current year.

Ahead of this meeting, Nepali Foreign Minister NP Saud visited Dhaka and engaged in discussions with officials from the public and private sectors in Bangladesh.

During these interactions, he advocated for investments in hydropower, highlighting Nepal’s immense potential of 60,000 megawatts in renewable energy.

The procurement of electricity from Nepal by Bangladesh is arranged through an Indian company acting as a service provider.

The agreed-upon method involves initial importation via Indian transmission lines, followed by the subsequent sale of electricity to Bangladesh.

Despite the mutual insistence of Bangladesh and Nepal on a tripartite agreement for electricity import and export, India emphasizes bilateral agreements for electricity export.

Presently, Bangladesh imports electricity from India through similar arrangements, involving transactions with Indian entities such as NTPC and Electricity Trading Corporation.

In the ongoing circumstances, the Nepal Electricity Authority is expected to enter into agreements with NVVN and BPDB for electricity trade between Dhaka and Kathmandu.

Beyond the initial 40 MW, Bangladesh expresses interest in acquiring an additional 500 MW of hydropower from Nepal in collaboration with the Indian company GMR.

Government officials are actively pursuing efforts to encourage both Bangladesh and Nepal to involve India in a trilateral agreement, fostering support for subregional energy trade among the three nations.