Bangladesh has signed a memorandum of understanding with Nepal to increase cooperation in the power sector and speed up the process of importing hydro-electricity from Nepal.
Apart from the import of hydro-electricity from Nepal through India, the MoU includes investments by Bangladesh in Nepal’s power sector.
Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources of Bangladesh, and Barsha Man Pun Ananta, Nepal’ minister for energy, water resources and irrigation, signed the MoU in Kathmandu on Friday afternoon.
Hamid thanked the Nepal government for the MoU saying: “It was signed after a long wait.”
The state minister focused on the friendly relations between the two countries and said both should increase cooperation for development in power and communications sectors.
According to Bangladesh’s master-plan, a part of the goal to supply 40,000MW power by 2030 will come from imported power.
Nepal has the prospects of producing 40,000MW of hydropower and Bangladesh’s state-run and private companies can invest in future projects in the Himalayan country, said Hamid.
At present, Nepal imports 400MW electricity from India but has set a goal to produce 15,000MW hydropower in 10 years, which is being implemented, according to Barsha Man Pun Ananta.
He spoke about investment prospects in Nepal and the possibility of trading in power.
Hamid paid a courtesy visit to Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Friday. The MoU was signed after a bilateral meeting with the energy minister of Nepal.
A working group and a steering committee will work to increase the cooperation in the power sector between the two countries, according to the MoU.
Hydropower is comparatively cheap and environment-friendly. The Awami League government has been working to increase hydropower cooperation with Nepal and Bhutan.
Bangladesh signed an MoU with an Indian company last year to import 500 mw power from Nepal. GMR Energy in India has started a project to produce 900MW of hydropower. The Bangladesh Power Development Board has signed an MoU with GMR Energy to buy electricity from the project through a cross-country grid via India.
Bangladesh has been importing 500MW of electricity from India’s Bahrampur and 150MW from Tripura. The government plans to import more power from India in future.