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India seeks power corridor thru Parbatipur to link Bihar, Assam

Dhaka-Delhi talks on the issue on July 18

Published : Wednesday, 10 July, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 348

Bangladesh and India are set to finalise the issue of "corridor" to supply electricity from Katihar, Bihar to Bornagar of Assam through Parbatipur in Dinajpur of Bangladesh under the 765 KV high- power interconnection transmission line project.

Earlier, Bangladesh and India have primarily agreed to construct a cross-border power transmission line to connect four neighbouring countries -- Nepal, Bhutan, India and Bangladesh.

India is seeking the corridor (Parbatipur in Dinajpur) since last few years, however, the issue was discussed during the meeting of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 22 at Hyderabad House in Delhi, which was mentioned in joint statement; Bangladesh is now sending a high powered committee to Delhi to discuss details.

Initially, the proposed transmission line through Dinajpur of Bangladesh will be used by India to supply electricity between Bihar and Assam. It will also be connected to transmission lines from Nepal and Bhutan in future, said Power Division said.

"The proposed meeting would be held on July 18 in Delhi, however, Power Division senior secretary Habibur Rahman will lead the team on behalf of Bangladesh," Power Cell DG Hossain Mohammad told the Daily Observer on Tuesday.

Earlier, Bangladesh said it is committed to supporting the implementation of the Katihar-Parbatipur-Boronagar transmission line. At the 21st meeting of the Bangladesh-India Joint Steering Committee on Cooperation in the Power Sector also discussed the issue at Khulna Bidyut Bhaban, Power Division senior secretary led the Bangladesh side while Indias power secretary Alok Kumar led the Indian side.

"Setting up the BBIN grid is essential for importing solar power from India and hydropower from Nepal and Bhutan. Using HVDC connectivity we are now importing 1,000 MW of electricity from India. There is no scope for importing additional power using this connectivity. Investment in HVDC is also huge. Regional grid linking the power grid of the four neighbouring countries into an integrated synchronous grid can ensure power trading at reasonable cost. Not really on political consideration, integrated BBIN power grid must be constructed for its technical and commercial benefits," Engr. Arun Saha, former Managing Director of EGCB, and former senior executive of PGCB told the media.

Initially, Indian proposal was to connect Assam and Bihar using Bangladeshs Dinajpur as a corridor. India has a plan to generate electricity through different hydropower projects by building dams on different rivers and take the electricity to the Indias north-western part from the north-eastern using Bangladesh as a corridor. Later it said it would be used as a cross-border power transmission line to connect four neighbouring countries-called BBIN.

"A decision on importing hydropower from Nepal and Bhutan through India had been pending for a long time. Bangladesh government should request Indian government to allow a corridor for us to import electricity from Nepal and Bhutan directly, it would reduce our cost and reduce the systems loss for a long transmission line as we plan to enjoy the imported power through India," Professor Dr. Ijaz Hossain said.

"We have agreed that we will build the transmission line (in terms of investment) and use it for cross-border power trade between the neighbouring countries," a senior official said preferring anonymity.

He also said that a trilateral agreement between India, Bangladesh and Nepal will be signed soon to import 500MW from Nepal.

 Indian firm GMR Karnali Hydropower Company Limited is implementing a 900MW power project in Nepal. Bangladesh could get electricity from there.

"Im not agreeing with those who think Bangladesh does not need this. Because if this happens to be in place, virtually it would lay the foundation of the BBIN grid. The 765 KV transmission line could have transported hydro- electricity from Nepal and Bhutan as well as solar power from India to Bangladesh. The power can be evacuated to the 400 KV Bangladesh grid through a 765/400 kV substation. Each country can invest to that extent of what it uses. There would be no problem in cost recovery even if third parties invest in it. Bangladesh power grid would also remain safe when this line traverses across Bangladesh territory. It is also essential for the uninterrupted power evacuation from RNPP," Engr. Arun Saha opined.

\Both sides are in discussion regarding the construction of a 765kV power interconnection from Katihar in India via Parbatipur in Bangladesh to Bornagar in India, which when constructed, will reinforce the interconnectivity of the grids in the region,\ the MEA spokesperson said on Twitter earlier.







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