Power talks with India tomorrow
A team led by Power Secretary Abul Kalam Azad starts visiting India tomorrow to discuss cooperation in the power sector which includes purchase of 100 megawatt power from India as well as equity sharing of a power project in Tripura.
During the five-day visit, the power secretary will sit with the Indian power minister, secretary and other high officials. Other Bangladeshi team members who include chairman of the Power Development Board (PDB) would hold technical level meetings with various power related bodies of India.
The team will meet top officials of National Thermal Power Company (NTPC), Power Grid Company of India (PGCI) and Power Trading Company of India (PTCI).
They will also visit two under-construction massive coal-fired power project sites in Gujarat. One of them will have 3600 MW capacity and the other 4800 MW.
Besides, they will visit a new plant site near Delhi having two different units run by natural gas and coal -- each having 750 MW capacity.
“We shall discuss future cooperation for human resources and technical development between the PDB and the NTPC,” PDB chairman Alamgir Kabir said.
He also said they would also discuss whether a technical team could be formed to scrutinise the issue of power interconnectivity between India and Bangladesh.
In the past, Bangladesh has been hammering on setting up a Saarc Grid for regional power inter-connectivity so that power can also be imported from Nepal or Bhutan.
The team will discuss with the PTCI the modalities of purchase of power from India on short term and long-term basis.
They would also discuss the issue of sharing equity of the under-construction Tripura Palatana 750 MW power project. India last year proposed through the World Bank that Bangladesh can have an equity of 25 percent to 30 percent of this project.
This proposal now gets a momentum as Bangladesh in September in principle agreed to provide access to Ashuganj river port to facilitate the transportation of the Over Dimensional Consignments for the Palatana Power Project.
“We can now discuss the prospect of equity sharing of this project to ensure 200 to 250 MW power for us,” Kabir told The Daily Star. “We will discuss investing in this project.”
To import power from India, both the countries will have to construct power transmission lines, build or expand bordering sub-station facility and take up other measures.
“This visit is not just a follow-up of Foreign Minister Dipu Moni's visit to India in September when both the countries agreed to initiate a number of deals,” Kabir notes. “This bid aims at tapping wider scopes of cooperation in the power sector.”