POST TIME: 10 September, 2016 00:00 00 AM
Hydropower company on cards
tapping potential of hydroelectricity

Hydropower company on cards

The government has finally decided to form a hydropower company in Bangladesh to tap the potential of this relatively unexplored field.
The company will not only generate power from hydroelectricity sources, but will also facilitate hydel power imports from neighbouring countries.
“To form the company, a memorandum of association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA) were finalised last Thursday,” Mohammad Hossain, director general of the Power Cell, a state-owned entity under the power, energy and mineral resources ministry, told The Independent.
A meeting was held at the Power Division in this connection on the same day. “The legal infrastructure for setting up the company under the Power Division is being prepared. It will be registered with the registrar of joint stock companies and firms,” the Power Cell DG disclosed.
Hossain said the company was likely to be named the ‘Hydro Power Generation Company Ltd’. He said after the company is formed, large-scale surveys and studies would be conducted to identify the country’s hydroelectric potential.
The 230-MW Karnafuli Hydroelectric Power Station, built in 1962, is currently the only major source of hydel power in Bangladesh.
A recent study conducted by a US-based consultancy firm, Streams Tech, Inc. (STI), noted that two rivers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts could potentially generate 79MW. The study observed that 58.33MW power could be generated from the Sangu and 20.83MW from the Matamuhuri.
“The new company will conduct more studies like this,” Hossain said, adding that the chief purpose of forming the company is to arrange imports of electricity from the hydropower plants in neighbouring high-altitude countries like Nepal and Bhutan.
These two mountainous countries, both members of SAARC, as well as northern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, have the potential to generate some 300,000MW of hydropower, which would benefit countries like Bangladesh that are suffering from electricity shortages. India has the

capacity to produce 140,000MW, Bhutan 30,000MW, Nepal 42,000MW, Pakistan 45,000MW and Afghanistan 25,000MW.
In January this year, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal agreed to establish hydroelectricity projects through basin-wide water management as part of the region’s efforts to cooperate and harness the hydropower sector and use water resources for mutual benefits.
Under the agreed minutes, the four SAARC states are likely to develop two power projects, including the Sunkoshi-2 and Sunkoshi-3 in Nepal, with a combined capacity of 1,646MW, and the 1,125MW Dorjilung hydropower project in Bhutan, subject to feasibility.
The four countries held a meeting on January 19–20, 2016, here in Dhaka, but agreed on the minutes recently to take up the hydroelectricity projects through basin-wide water management. At the meeting, Bangladesh proposed a series of potential hydroelectricity projects in Nepal and Bhutan.
The foreign affairs ministry informed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) about the latest development in this regard.
For Bhutan, the 1,125MW Dorjilung (Rotpashong) hydropower project was selected to be examined by competent agencies of the prospective sides, for its joint preparation and development by at least three countries.
The Nepalese side would examine the feasibility of two hydroelectricity projects—Sunkoshi-2 and Sunkoshi-3—having the capacity of 1,110MW and 536MW respectively for joint preparation and development by three nations.
Besides, the meeting also agreed on the issues of regional inter-connectivity through construction of grid transmission and expansion of the existing grid, subject to the laws, rules and regulations of these countries.
On September 4, Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, and Indian high commissioner in Dhaka, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, held a meeting at the Secretariat. At the meeting, Nasrul Hamid sought a trilateral meeting among Bangladesh, India and Bhutan next month to place emphasis on power generation from hydroelectric sources.
The Indian high commissioner had earlier invited the state minister on behalf of India’s energy and power ministry to visit the country on October 3–5.