First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: India has stated that it is ready to facilitate the export of electricity generated in Nepal to Bangladesh.
A few days ago, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Sringala said that Nepal could export electricity to India and Bangladesh.
Speaking at a program on India’s neighborhood policy in New Delhi, he said, “Transforming steps have been taken to import and export energy with neighboring countries by issuing some export-related procedures to promote regional trade in energy.”
A few weeks ago, India revised its procedures for importing and exporting energy. However, the procedure states that the facility will not be provided for the electricity of a project invested by a third country bordering India. That provision is likely to affect Chinese investment.
According to him, the procedure will not only pave the way for import and export of energy but will also facilitate energy transit.
He also said that the huge market of electricity trade is open for India’s neighbors. Sringala also said that the Indian grid is connected to Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. He also informed that homework is being done for grid connection with Sri Lanka.
Nepal’s electricity must pass through Indian territory for export to Bangladesh. Both Nepal and Bangladesh are skeptical about whether India will facilitate that.
Bangladesh, which has high energy demand, has long been pushing for facilitation with India. This issue has been given priority in every high level meeting between India and Bangladesh.
Recently, there has been a commitment from top Indian officials to facilitate transit for electricity exports. However, detailed homework remains to be done. For this, a meeting of high officials of the three countries is being prepared in the near future.
The Indian Foreign Secretary has also mentioned the names of some of the hydropower projects under construction in Nepal. He said that Nepal could export the 900 MW Karnali Hydropower Project to India and Bangladesh. Currently, both Nepal and Bangladesh are buying electricity from India. Bangladesh is buying 1160 MW of electricity from India while Nepal is currently buying 700 MW.
The Government of Bangladesh and the private sector have also expressed interest in investing in Nepal’s hydropower sector if India facilitates the export of electricity.
For some years now, talks have been going on between Nepal and Bangladesh regarding the construction of a dedicated transmission line. But for now, talks are underway to use the Indian transmission line in India’s Siliguri corridor.
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