KATHMANDU, March 30: India and Bangladesh have expressed their commitments to work together on importing Nepal's energy, with India willing to allow transmission of electricity to Bangladesh via its territory.
Bangladesh has already made an announcement that it would import electricity from Nepal to meet its energy deficit, in the country's drive to spur high and sustained growth.
Speaking at the Investment Summit on Friday,
Sanoj Kumar Jha, Secretary of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission of India, said that India's guideline on energy exchange with its neighbors issued last year has set grounds for energy exchange, and that India was ready to facilitate exchange.
Motibubun Rahman, chief engineer of Bangladesh Power Development Board, said that they needed 12,000 MW of electricity to graduate to a middle-income country by 2021.
"Out of that we want to purchase Nepal's 9,000 MW electricity to sustain high but continued growth in the coming years," Rahman said.
Power purchase agreement (PPA) with GMR, developer of Upper Karnali Hydropower Project of Nepal, is also underway to import 500 MW immediately, according to Rahman. It is believed that the finalization of PPA is expected to pave the way for signing financial closure in the project.
Nepal and Bangladesh have also signed an agreement of energy cooperation and also announced a plan to build electricity transmission line via India. Bangladesh has also been seeking Indian support in bilateral and multilateral talks to import energy.
SAARC Energy Framework Agreement signed in 2014 had laid the foundation of energy cooperation and exchange, which paved the way for further cooperation in energy transfer among the South Asian countries.
Jha said that India also wanted to import renewable energy as it has not started any major hydro power plant in the last five years.