Bheramara (Kushtia): India has started power transmission into Bangladesh formally on Saturday as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh inaugurated Bangladesh’s power import from India through a videoconferencing.
Both the leaders also unveiled the plaque of foundation stone of Moitree Super Thermal Power Project (Rampal 1320 MW coal based power plant) at 11.45am.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was present at the inaugural function at Bherama power substation while the Indian Premier joined it from New Delhi through the videoconferencing.
This project has been the outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two neighbours in January 10, 2010 during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India.
The project was then undertaken for implementation and a 100-km double circuit 400-kV transmission lines were installed from Baharampur in India to Bheramara in Bangladesh of which 73.5 km fall in Indian part and 27.36 km in Bangladesh. The project cost was US 196.8 million (equivalent to Tk 1600 crore).
Bangladesh signed the power purchase agreement (PPA) in February last year where an indicative tariff was fixed at about Rs 3 (Tk 5.5 approximate) per unit (each kilowatt hour). But the Indian Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) will finally fix the tariff.
After the depreciation of Indian currency, the tariff would now be about Tk 4 per unit for 250 MW. Bangladesh will import another 250 MW from Indian open market at a tariff of around Tk 6 per unit against Bangladesh’s production cost of Tk 5 per unit.
Speaking through a videoconference as Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was on the other side in India, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the inter-grid connectivity is part of an immediate solution that would go a long way to alleviate the deficit of power in Bangladesh.
“It would also open up a new horizon of cooperation among all countries in South Asia with the power flowing from your (India) country. We can now take hand to expand our horizon of power sector cooperation even further,” she added.
The Prime Minister also reiterated her government’s interest to invest in hydropower project in India to reduce reliance on conventional energy that would also lead to a joint initiative to tap renewable energy adding, “Which I believe holds the key to our future.”
Power supply from India starts