Bangladesh and Nepal, each have reached an fringe of a long-standing look ahead to India’s consent to start out energy export from Nepal to Bangladesh utilizing India’s hall. For the trade of electrical energy between Bangladesh and Nepal, the Indian land between the 2 nations needs to be crossed. Consequently, India’s consent is required as transmission strains should be handed by way of Indian Territory.
On this regard, on Might 15-16, to advance the ability export plan additional, the fifth joint-secretary-level joint working group and secretary-level joint steering committee conferences between Nepal and Bangladesh have been held. The highest agenda of the conferences was to search out methods to get consent from India for importing energy from two Nepalese initiatives. The primary one is the 52.4-MW Likhu-4 undertaking and the second is the 683-MW Sunkoshi-3 hydropower undertaking. The framework and priorities of the tripartite settlement with India are anticipated to finalize on this assembly.
Within the first week of this month, within the twenty first assembly of the Bangladesh-India Joint Steering Committee held in Khulna India agreed on hydropower commerce from Nepal to Bangladesh by way of India. The 2 nations additionally agreed to signal a tripartite energy buy settlement (PPA) to import 500 MW of hydropower to Bangladesh by way of India from GMR in Nepal. Nevertheless, in trade of this Bangladesh have to supply a hall by way of its territory for the transmission of electrical energy from one state of India to a different state.
In 2021, Bangladesh confirmed curiosity in providing the ability hall and anticipated to get 20 to 25 % of the hydropower to be transmitted by way of the high-voltage gridline passing by way of its territory. The transmission line with a capability of 6,000MW in Bangladesh land can be roughly 100-200 km in size.
Alternatively, Bangladesh Energy Improvement Board (PDB) signed a Energy Buy Settlement (PPA) with Nepal in 2019 to buy 500 MW of energy from the Higher Karnali Hydropower Station in Nepal which is developed by India’s GMR Group. Nevertheless, initially, Nepal is able to export 52.4 MW of electrical energy from the Likhu-4 undertaking below the GMR, in line with the settlement. The undertaking stands on the border of Okhaldhunga and Ramechhap districts in Nepal and began industrial manufacturing in 2022. Nepal agreed to export 40-50 MW energy to Bangladesh within the fourth working group assembly of Bangladesh and Nepal, held in Kathmandu in August final 12 months. This may use the high-voltage Baharampur-Bheramara cross-border energy transmission hyperlink to import energy. One other undertaking, the 683-MW Sunkoshi-3 undertaking would take a very long time as it’s within the feasibility examine stage.
Throughout Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s go to to India in September final 12 months, Bangladesh requested that or not it’s allowed to import energy from Nepal and Bhutan by way of India. The Nepal Electrical energy Authority (NEA) sought approval from the Indian authorities to export 40-50 MW of electrical energy to Bangladesh by way of India’s current transmission infrastructure. In August 2022, Bangladesh and Nepal determined to request India to permit commerce of 40-50 MW of electrical energy between Nepal and Bangladesh within the preliminary part by using the high-voltage Baharampur-Bheramara cross-border energy transmission hyperlink. As per the understanding reached throughout the secretary-level Joint Steering Committee (JSC) fashioned for Nepal-Bangladesh vitality cooperation, the NEA and the Bangladesh Energy Improvement Board requested India for a trilateral vitality gross sales and buy settlement using the ability line. Each nations have lengthy been ready for India’s consent to determine the circulation hall, however no deal has been finalized but.
In April 2022, a joint imaginative and prescient assertion on energy sector cooperation between Nepal and India acknowledged that the 2 nations supposed to widen collaboration within the energy sector and to incorporate companion nations below the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) framework.
Within the final assembly between Bangladesh and Nepal, together with the usage of India’s current energy transmission strains, the problem of developing a separate or devoted transmission line sooner or later for transferring extra energy from Nepal by way of the Indian Territory have been mentioned. At the moment, Bangladesh imports 900-940 MW of electrical energy by way of India’s Baharampur to Bheramara transmission line. Contemplating the unutilized 2,040 MW transmission capability of Baharampur to Bheramara grid line, the Bangladesh Energy Improvement Board (BPDB) proposed finalizing the present grid to provide imported electrical energy from the GMR undertaking in Nepal in 2022. On this regard, Indian NVVN acknowledged that Bangladesh and Nepal should contain India in a different way in cross-border electrical energy commerce utilizing Indian land. In response to India’s demand, Bangladesh will permit India to assemble a 116 km transmission line throughout the territory of Bangladesh for energy transmission within the North Japanese states of India.
As a result of its geographical situatedness within the northeastern a part of India, Bangladesh is strategically necessary to India from a geopolitical facet. India wants Bangladesh to determine communication, transportation, and electrical energy transmission with this virtually remoted space. Bangladesh has already supplied transit and transshipment to India by way of its land to ease the transportation of products within the area. Correspondingly, Bangladesh has the potential to supply a number of electrical energy corridors for transmission. As India needs to considerably enhance their share of renewable vitality within the upcoming years, the Indian authorities has set an formidable plan to generate 500GW from non-fossil energy-based sources by 2030, assembly 50 % of vitality necessities from renewables.
In response to Indian North Japanese Electrical Energy Cooperation, the Indian North Japanese Area has the potential of about 58,971 MW of energy, virtually 40 % of India’s complete hydropower potential. Arunachal Pradesh alone has a 50,000 MW of hydroelectricity potential. India plans to discover all hydropower potentials in Arunachal Pradesh and different northeastern states. However Its costlier to move this potential hydroelectricity from the North-East area to different elements of India utilizing its personal territory. For tapping this potential by lowering this constraint, India must construct a transmission line by way of Bangladesh.
Nepal is a rustic of hydropower potential. As a promoter of regional energy commerce by way of frequent grid, India ought to open this regional energy commerce route to attain regional sufficiency in sustainable inexperienced vitality by way of enhancing South Asian regional cooperation. India can obtain its untapped potentials of hydropower from the northeastern area by establishing transmission strains over Bangladesh. Alternatively, Bangladesh ought to make an settlement with India holding in thoughts its geographical and strategic potential. It ought to be considered within the settlement that the pursuits of each nations can be protected based mostly on reciprocity, and Bangladesh would profit in the long run.
Abdullah Sadi is a researcher on South Asia’s political financial system and worldwide politics