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Dhaka Sunday,  Jun 24, 2018

Indo-Bangla Grid Expansion

ADB asked BD to fulfill three conditions for getting loan

Shamim Jahangir

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has asked the Bangladesh government to fulfill three conditions for getting loan for expansion of the existing Bangladesh-India Grid inter-connectivity between Bheramara and Baharampur having capacity to transmit another 500MW of electricity, concerned official said.
The existing inter-connectivity grid allows import of 500MW of electricity from India and the expansion of the line would allow purchase of another 500MW of power from the neighboring country.
The ADB conditions include gazette notification of tariff regulations, issuing bids for power purchase from India, and written confirmation from the power grid corporation of India for transmission of an additional 500MW of electricity to Bangladesh.
ADB Country Director Kazuhiko Higuchi in a letter to the Economic Relations Division senior secretary Mohammed Mesbahuddin on July 6, 2015 said the above project of $120 million awaits ADB approval during the third quarter of 2015.
The project is at the advanced stage of preparation, and its DPP was approved on March 31, land acquisition was completed, technical consultant is already in place, and bidding process is underway, he said. “However, none of the three conditions for loan negotiations have been implemented so far,” ADB country director said expressing dissatisfaction.
Commenting about the draft BERC (Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission) tariff regulation, concerned official said the BERC has already made a pre-publication for comments that is already over. The BERC plans to publish the tariff regulation in mid of August, sources said. Besides, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has already submitted bidding documents to Power Division for purchasing additional 500MW of electricity. The BPDB targeted to import power on short-term and mid-term basis from Indian open market for three years between November 1, 2017 and January 31, 2019, the letter read. Besides, BPDB has a target to purchase long-term power between February 1, 2019 and October 31, 2032, it said.
Bangladesh and India have already decided to exchange another 500MW of electricity from Indian open market.
The government now imports 500MW of electricity from India, but only 460MW-470MW is added to the national grid. Rest of the electricity is eaten up due to synchronisation in the inter-state grid, concerned officials said.
The Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) is now conducting feasibility study to enhance 500MW Indo-Bangla grid inter-connectivity at Bheramara-Baharampur grid line under Asian Development Bank (ADB) funding.
The installation of grid interconnection would be completed by October, 2017.
As per regulations 2009 of Central Energy Regulatory Commission of India (CERCI), it must be required to apply before three years for long term power access, the BPDB secretary informed the power division

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