Groundbreaking Trilateral Power Trade Deal Unveiled: Nepal to Supply Bangladesh with Hydropower via India
In an unprecedented move set to reshape the energy landscape of South Asia, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh have joined forces to forge a trilateral power trade deal. Under this innovative agreement, Nepal is poised to export a staggering 500 megawatts (MW) of clean hydropower to Bangladesh, facilitated by India’s extensive transmission infrastructure. This groundbreaking endeavor promises to significantly enhance cross-border electricity trading in the region.
Furthermore, discussions are underway to establish a dedicated transmission line connecting Nepal directly to Bangladesh through India. At present, this proposition is at the official negotiation stage, with two potential routes identified for the ambitious project.
Power trade within South Asia is not a new concept; however, this trilateral accord has the potential to unlock a multitude of opportunities for electricity commerce, especially in the realm of green energy. It also paves the way for power exports to neighboring nations such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
A high-ranking Indian government official stated, “India is open to permitting the transit of electricity from Nepal or Bhutan to countries like Bangladesh or even Sri Lanka, provided they possess grid interconnection capacity and can harmonize grid operations with India.”
The Nuts and Bolts of the Deal
According to the proposed three-way agreement, Nepal will supply hydropower to Bangladesh by utilizing India’s high-voltage transmission network. In the initial phase, Nepal will provide 50 MW of electricity to Bangladesh via India’s Baharampur-Bheramara cross-border transmission line. This power will be sourced from Nepal’s formidable 900 MW Upper Karnali hydropower project.
In return for this energy collaboration, India is seeking access to transmission lines that would connect its northeastern states.
A government official involved in the negotiations revealed, “In the first phase, Bangladesh has expressed interest in procuring 500 MW from a single hydro power project in Nepal, and India has given its green light. This marks the beginning of a trilateral power transaction through the Indian grid.”
Industry insiders believe that India, boasting the world’s largest single grid infrastructure, stands to gain immensely from this initiative. With Nepal’s abundant hydropower potential and the increasing demand for renewable energy in South Asia, India could become a pivotal supplier of electricity in the region.
Dedicated Transmission Lines
Officials have identified two potential corridors for the dedicated transmission line. The first corridor runs from Anarmari in Nepal to Panchagarh in Bangladesh, covering a total distance of 49 kilometers, with 24 kilometers passing through Indian territory.
The second corridor connects Anarmari in Nepal to Thakurgaon in Bangladesh, spanning a distance of 83 kilometers, with 33 kilometers traversing Indian territory.
Bangladesh is no stranger to power imports from India. It currently receives 500 MW of electricity through the Baharampur-Bheramara transmission line and an additional 150-160 MW via the Tripura-Comilla grid interconnection project. Moreover, Bangladesh has begun receiving coal-fired power from Adani’s Godda thermal power plant in Jharkhand.
This trilateral power trade deal is set to usher in a new era of energy cooperation and sustainability in South Asia, fostering economic growth and regional development while reducing carbon emissions. The coming years will undoubtedly witness the transformative impact of this historic collaboration on the energy landscape of the subcontinent.