Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Second Nepal-Bangladesh JSC meeting discuss cross-border energy cooperation

A two-day joint steering committee (JSC) meeting on energy cooperation between Nepal and Bangladesh kicked off in Dhaka from today. The meeting will look into ways of capitalising on plans and provisions of the bilateral understanding on energy trade and investment.
The meeting is discussing ways to enhance energy trade and investment between the two countries, apart from discussing ways to enhance cross-border energy cooperation and promote investment in the hydropower sector of the two nations, according to the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI).
A seven-member team of the MoEWRI that is participating in the second meeting between the respective authorities of the two countries – which started today after Nepal and Bangladesh inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on energy cooperation last August in Kathmandu – is led by secretary Dinesh Kumar Ghimire. Likewise, the Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh is leading the delegation from Bangladesh. The first meeting was held in Nepal.
The Nepali team will also discuss on electricity trade by building a dedicated transmission line through the Siliguri Corridor in India which separates Nepal and Bangladesh. The meeting will discuss the agenda items contained in the memorandum of understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Power Sector the two countries signed last August. “Apart from transmission connectivity, they will discuss the possibility of trading electricity generated by Sunkoshi basin projects, particularly Sunkoshi 2 and Sunkoshi 3,” according to a source at the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
Nepal and Bangladesh have been planning to enhance energy cooperation, especially after the Power Trade Agreement (PTA) that was signed with India in 2014. Both the countries have already agreed to focus on electricity generation, development of hydroelectricity, cross-border transmission lines, development of efficient human resources in the hydroelectric sector, promotion of government-to-government and private sector investments, grid connectivity, power efficiency and investment in renewable energy.
The main agenda of this meeting will be to discuss a dedicated high voltage double circuit transmission line that will need to be installed to supply Nepal’s electricity through India to Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi government has already committed to buy 500 megawatts (MW) of energy produced by the Upper Karnali hydropower project, which is being developed by India-based GMR. Moreover, Bangladesh has expressed interest to buy 9,000 MW of electricity from Nepal by 2040.
During past meetings, Nepal and Bangladesh have pledged to make their best efforts in devising such trilateral arrangements as a common agenda. According to the agreement in the first meeting, the secretary-level JSC and the joint secretary-level joint working group (JWG) will meet every year to discuss and take forward the issues related to cooperation in the power sector between the two nations.

1 comment:

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