India-Bangladesh power transmission link open

The link would transfer 500 MW to the eastern neighbour

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published:October 6, 2013 1:14 am

In a big boost to India’s electricity diplomacy efforts on its eastern border with Bangladesh,the key 71-km Baharampur-Bheramara transmission link between the electricity grids of the two countries was inaugurated on Saturday. The commissioning of this link would facilitate cross-border electricity transfer of up to 500 mega watt (MW) from India to Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,who inaugurated the India- Bangladesh Grid interconnection at Bheramara,Bangladesh through video-conference from New Delhi,called it a “historic moment,when we embark on a new partnership for prosperity between our two countries”.

“The transmission line and the HVDC station in Bheramara would provide a safe and reliable interconnection of the power grids of our two countries,which will enable supply of 500 MW of power from India to Bangladesh. A shared aspiration of our people has been translated into a concrete outcome,” Singh said.

The grid interconnection between the two countries through a 500MW HVDC back-to-back asynchronous link between the eastern region of India and western grid of Bangladesh has being planned in such a manner that it would enable control of power transfer in either direction up to the capacity of the HVDC buffer,depending upon the availability and demand on either side. 

“Our destinies are inter-linked and so must our economies be… Today’s inauguration represents an important milestone in connecting our two countries and the broader region through a growing web of cross-border energy links and trade,” Singh said in his message.

Under the arrangement,a total of 500 MW of power is initially slated to flow from India to Bangladesh,of which 250 MW would be from the Centre’s unallocated quota of power (at rates notified by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission) and the other 250 MW to be contracted by Bangladesh from the Indian electricity market. The capacity of the interconnection can be increased to 1,000 MW in due course.

The link is being seen as a major milestone in strengthening the bilateral relationship and comes at a time when India is desperate to make up for its inability to deliver on two key pacts with Bangladesh: one on Teesta waters and the land boundary pact.

Singh also commemorated the laying of the foundation stone for the 1,320 MW ‘Maitri Thermal Power Project’ being developed by the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company,which is a joint venture of NTPC Ltd and the Bangladesh Power Development Board.

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