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6 August, 2015 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 5 August, 2015 10:12:00 PM
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Import of 50MW power from India

Cabinet committee okays proposal

DEEPAK ACHARJEE and FAISAL MAHMUD
Cabinet committee okays proposal

The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved a proposal of the Power Division to import 30MW-50MW electricity from the Indian NTPC Vidyut Vypar Nigam Limited (NVVN) and the Power Trading Company of India Ltd (PTC) under a bilateral agreement through the limited tendering method.
The purchase committee meeting was held at the Cabinet Division of Secretariat with Finance Minister, AMA Muhith, in the chair.
To import the additional 30MW-50MW electricity from India under the  bilateral agreement, the country will have to pay an additional Tk. 57.453 crore to Tk. 231.084 crore to  India as tariff besides duty fee.
 Monowar Islam, Secretary of the Power Division, told The Independent that since October 2013, the country has imported 500MW of electricity from India through the grid inter-connectivity between Bheramara in Bangladesh and Behrampur in India.
The import comes after Dhaka and New Delhi signed an MoU in this regard during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Delhi in January 2010.
Bangladesh got 250MW of electricity through the NVVN, and the remaining 250MW from the Power Trading Company of India Ltd (PTC).
He, however, said that the country had been receiving around 50MW less power due to auxiliary consumption at the generating sub-station, as well as losses during  transmission.
On April 3, 2014, to address this supply gap, a decision was made at the seventh meeting of the joint steering committee of the Bangladesh-India power sector cooperation to buy power from open markets in India.
The secretary of the Power Division said that after the proposal of buying additional electricity from India received the approval of the cabinet committee on purchase, a Letter of Intent (LoI) was issued in favour of NVVN.
After that the NVVN informed the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) that they cannot get the necessary approval from CERC to import electricity from the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) through the Day Ahead Schedule, as there is no provision for doing so.
“Buying electricity from the IEX through the Day Ahead Schedule is confined to Indian companies. Such a provision is not meant for any foreign entity,” said Monwar Islam, adding that under the circumstances, Bangladesh plans to buy electricity through the bilateral agreement.
Experts said that this project of bringing additional electricity through the bilateral agreement is a good option for Bangladesh in the short term.
Dr Ijaz Hossain of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) said this decision should be implemented in the short term on a test basis.  “After 12 months, it will be clear if this is profitable for us.
Then we can consider this new mode as a long-term option,” he  said.
The BPDB has sought permission to float an international tender to import another 500MW of electricity from the Indian open market for a 15-year period. Earlier, the BPDB secretary, Md Jahirul Haque, in a letter to the Power Division sought the permission.
A project worth Tk. 1,404.8 crore has already been approved by the cabinet committee for the expansion of the existing Bangladesh-India (Bheramara-Behrampur) grid line to import an additional 500MW of power from India.
The Power Grid Company Bangladesh Limited (PGCB) will implement the Bangladesh (Bheramara)-India (Behrampur) grid connection project by June 2018, with the Asian Development Bank providing Tk. 844.88 crore as project assistance.
The project work includes construction of a 12-km Bheramara-Ishwardi 230KV double-circuit transmission line, including river crossing, and construction of the Bheramara 500MW HVDC back-to-back sub-station.
The project was one of six development projects approved at the meeting. The total value of the projects is Tk. 52,778.11 crore.  
Talking to The Independent, engineer Khandker Maksudul Hasan, Chairman of BPDB, said they are targeting to import short-term and mid-term power procurement from the Indian open market for three years between November 1, 2017 and January 31, 2019.
Besides, the BPDB will target purchasing long-term power for a period between February 1, 2019 and October 31, 2032.
“Bangladesh and India have already decided to exchange another 500MW of electricity from the Indian open market,” he said.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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