India to set up power transmission line with Nepal and Bhutan
India is working to set up an energy efficient electricity transmission line (HVDC) with Nepal and Bhutan as part of its energy security plans, India's External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said yesterday.
The country also hopes to have power transmission connectivity with Asean and Saarc countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar, he said while addressing the World Energy Policy Summit 2013 here.
In October, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opened the 71-km Baharampur-Bheramara HVDC (high voltage direct current) transmission link, which connected power grids of India and Bangladesh.
"We are working on the India-Nepal HVDC link which will perhaps begin with providing power to Nepal in order to be able to take power (import) from Nepal," Khurshid told his audience at the summit.
"Again, same sort of thing is what we hope we will be able to do with Bhutan. Nepal and Bhutan will become a major source of supply of power to India," he said.
India has been working for the last few years to put in place a multilateral Saarc Market for Electricity (SAME) and has plans to set up a larger Saarc transmission grid.
The transmission link established between the power grids of Bangladesh and India is designed to facilitate cross-border electricity transfer of up to 500MW.
As far as Bhutan is concerned, India's transmission link with that country is already in place.
The government has plans to augment the existing line to import up to 5,000 MW of power from Bhutan by 2020 through HVDC transmission line.
On the other hand, Nepal currently imports about 150MW power from India.
Last year, India's state-owned PGCIL had completed a 40MW transmission line to the Himalayan nation. Besides, many Indian companies have plans to set up power plants in Nepal to tap its hydro-power generation potential.
In HVDC technology, less electricity is lost in transmission than with conventional AC technology. It also requires fewer transmission lines, which means less land has to be cleared.