India offers Bangladesh energy in return for transshipment facility


Dhaka is keen that Delhi supplies 100 MW from OTPC to Bangladesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that India is ready to meet the energy needs of Bangladesh.

India is gearing up to enter into major economic cooperation with Bangladesh. On the cards are energy deals to double cross-border electricity sales and laying pipeline to export diesel to Bangladesh. In return, India expects Dhaka to extend transshipment facilities through Ashuganj river port and Chittagong sea port in Bangladesh.

Energy needs

“India is ready to meet Bangladesh’s energy needs,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday at a ceremony to announce completion of the 727 MW gas-based OTPC power station at Palatana in Tripura.

“If Bangladesh wants electricity (from India), India is ready to sell electricity to Bangladesh,” the Prime Minister said. He was responding to a request from Taufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy advisor to Bangladesh Prime Minister Seikh Hasina, for additional 600 MW supplies. Chowdhury was present at today’s programme.

Bangladesh currently purchases 500 MW electricity through Bheramara border in West Bengal. This includes 250 MW supplied from the Central allocations at regulated domestic tariff.

Dhaka procures an additional 250 MW from India through open market deals. The average tariff is Taka 6 a unit, slightly lower than the weighted average of Taka 6.50 a unit in Bangladesh.

“We want to buy an additional 500 MW electricity from the Indian open market through the Bheramara border,” Chowdhury told Business Line.

Dhaka is keen that Delhi should supply 100 MW from OTPC to Bangladesh, in appreciation of its facilitating implementation of the project. Both the countries are currently conducting feasibility studies including investment requirements. A Petroleum Ministry official told media persons that a feasibility study is on for laying a 200 km pipeline connecting Numaligarh refinery in Assam to Parbatipur in Bangladesh for supply of one million tonnes of diesel a year.

Natural resources

While Modi was there to fulfil a Bangladeshi wish list, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar reminded the Prime Minister that it is time he should convince Seikh Hasina to grant access to tranship goods through Ashuganj and Chittagong ports. According to a senior minister of Tripura, the issue was further stressed at a meeting between the Prime Minister and the State cabinet.

Despite having rich natural resources, the land-locked nature of Tripura is now coming in its way to attract industries. Access to port facilities can convert it into a manufacturing hub.

Source: The Hindu