Energy Bangla

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Dhaka Sunday,  Feb 17, 2019

India to use BD’s land to transport Gas and Electricity

Arun Karmokar

Windows are widened and processes are eased for Bangladesh to import energy and power related resources from its neighboring country India as the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited India and agreed on various mutual topics with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. India, on the other hand, has got the opportunity to transport power and gas to its eastern part using the land of Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has just come back from her 4-day visit from India. Along with other sectors, Bangladesh has signed a few deals and MoUs with India on the country’s energy and power sector while the PM was visiting the country.

India has got the long cherished corridor to transport electricity from Asam to Bihar, which was finalized in the PM’s visit. The electricity will be transmitted using a grid substation which will be built in Dinajpur. A transmission network will be built from BarnaGarh of Assam to Katihar of Bihar via Parbatipur of Dinajpur. Bangladesh will be allowed to procure 1,000 MW of electricity from that transmission system.

After finalizing another deal with India during the PM’s visit, Bangladesh has just begun importing 60 MW of electricity from Palatana of Tripura from where the state has been importing 100 MW of electricity since March of last year. However, as of writing this report the transmission of the 60 MW electricity didn’t begin as for some technical reason.

From now on Bangladesh will be able to invest in the hydroelectric power sector of Bhutan and import that electricity from Bhutan using the land of India with a trilateral deal. Earlier, Bangladesh had no chance to import electricity directly from countries like Bhutan or Nepal according to the ‘Guidelines on Crossborder Trade of Electricity’ act that was taken by the Indian government on December 5 of last year. However, importing electricity from Nepal issue was not fully resolved in the PM’s visit.

According to the signed instruments, soon the country will also be able to import 500 MW of more electricity from the Indian retail market. However, the Bangladeshi government is expecting a tax exemption in importing electricity from India.

Indian state operated Petronet has signed a deal with its Bangladeshi counterpart Petrobangla to install a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) processing plant at Kutubdia of Cox’s bazar with a Joint Venture approach. According to the signed instruments, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) is likely to install a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plant at Kutubdia and build a pipeline to transport gas to the northeast part of India.

Bangladesh is also importing diesel from Numaligarh of Asam. Recently a shipment of 200 metric tons of diesel was received at Parbatipur of Dinajpur; another 2,200 metric tons of diesel was imported in March of last year from India using the Dinajpur border. Earlier, in 2015 BPC signed a deal with Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to construct a 139 km of pipeline named Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline to import diesel to Bangladesh. According to the deal, diesel will be imported using oil tankers until the construction of that pipeline finishes. The PMs of the both countries expressed their satisfaction seeing the progress of construction of the pipeline.

The two neighboring countries agreed on collaborative approach in managing and operating of the Nuclear power plant in Bangladesh and also agreed on Bilateral Cooperation on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

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