Bangladesh Eyes Hydropower Import From Bhutan

Bangladesh government will strengthen its bilateral tie with Bhutan to import hydroelectricity from the neighbouring country through joint-venture initiatives or direct purchase, an official concerned said.

As part of the efforts, State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid is expected to visit Bhutan soon.

The Power Division has already requested Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Islam to set a schedule for the sate minister’s visit to Bhutan after discussing the issue with the Bhutanese embassy in Dhaka.

The government has a plan to increase the country’s electricity generation capacity to 20,000MW by 2021 and to 40,000MW by 2030.

The government has already installed a 500MW power-grid connection with India.

Bangladesh has already discussed with the Indian counterpart to focus on regional connectivity through sharing potentiality with Nepal and Bhutan during the 7th secretary-level meet in January, 2014.

Bangladesh would focus on sharing hydroelectricity with Nepal and Bhutan through the Indian corridor.

India has joint-venture connectivity with Bhutan for facilitating electricity import.

Bangladesh’s government in a proposal to the Indian side had earlier showed interests to invest in a project at Arunachal Prodesh in India, an official said.

India has a potential to generate 150,000MW of hydro power while Bhutan and Nepal have potential of generating 30,000MW and 83,000MW of electricity respectively.

An official concerned said Bangladesh proposed to set up a joint-venture hydroelectric power project with Nepal which has a prospect to generate 83,000MW of electricity.

Bangladesh has also invited India, Nepal and Bhutan for holding a tripartite meeting to explore hydroelectric potentiality in this region.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), an enterprise of the World Bank Group, has already assured Bangladesh to finance in regional power trading involving Bangladesh-India-Nepal and Bangladesh-India-Bhutan.

Bangladesh would also propose to increase capacity of the Indo-Bangla power grid line to 1,000MW from 500MW now for importing electricity from Arunachal Prodesh of India, officials concerned said.

IFC is also interested to make available sub-national financing to The Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) on a corporate finance basis for the proposed cross-border connectivity projects.