We want better energy ties with Delhi: Nasrul
Bangladesh wants deeper ties with India in energy and power sector to avoid future energy crisis, State Minister for Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said yesterday.
"We want to import power from Nepal and Bhutan. For that, we need the cooperation of India as the transmission line would be through the country," he said at a briefing after meetings with India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh in New Delhi.
"The two ministers assured us of extending their cooperation," he said at the Bangladesh high commission where the briefing was held.
Nasrul said, "We want to open the fuel market to the private sector, which India has done successfully … We needed to know the process and method of keeping the fuel price stable when the global oil prices surge."
The state minister also said the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline will be inaugurated from Assam's Numaligarh Refinery Ltd this year with the two prime ministers present.
"The project is nearly complete and we want to start fuel import from India through the pipeline at an affordable cost before the upcoming election," he added.
A day before, the state minister told reporters in Jharkhand that they would try to find an opportunity to import low-cost fuel, like India is doing from Russia.
Asked about it, Nasrul told The Daily Star yesterday, "India imports most of its fuel through the private sector, and recently their demand has risen by 12 percent. That's why it will be tough, but the Numaligarh pipeline will help us to get cheaper fuel from India."
"India has lots of refineries and they import crude oil from different countries and is able to get cheaper fuel. We want to take the opportunity."
At the briefing, the state minister said they want to install a gas pipeline from India to Khulna. "We have finalised the negotiations with Indian company H Energy. We will sign an agreement soon."
Bangladesh is now importing 1,160MW of electricity a day from India. And Adani Group will start delivering around 1,496MW coal-fired power a day within this year.
"We need India's cooperation in the renewable energy sector, especially solar. They have vast land (to install solar project) which we don't. The Indian side will try to help us import hydropower from Bhutan and Nepal. Discussions were held about trilateral agreements to invest in Nepal to expand their renewable sector."
Power Secretary Habibur Rahman, Bangladesh Power Development Board Chairman Mahbubur Rahman, and Bangladesh High Commissioner in India Mustafizur Rahman joined the meetings.