Ahmad Kaikaus, Secretary, Power Divisions, Ministry of Power of Bangladesh has announced the country’s keen interest in purchasing power generated from renewable sources in India. Speaking at the recently concluded AIIB third annual meeting, the minister said, “I have approached my Indian counterparts on whether we can develop some system to cooperate in renewable energy so that we could be buying electricity from India as we already have transmission lines.”
Currently, 500 MW is transmitted to Bangladesh via the Bheramara-Bherampur inter-connectivity and a further transmission of 500 MW is being readied along the same line. Bangladesh’s economy is projected to expand to 7.65 percent in fiscal 2017-18.
Bangladesh aims to provide electricity to all households by 2019, and is actively growing its generation capacity as well as expanding and upgrading its grids to achieve this. However, the challenge of transmitting and distribution remains. In order to meet the target of 24,000 MW capacity by 2021, Kaikaus said the Bangladesh government is looking at investing $3-4 billion, while also aiming to privatise some of the grid areas.
As far as renewable energy is concerned, Bangladesh’s options are limited. Due to geoclimatic reasons and high cost of land, power generation from hydro and solar sources is restricted. Wind, however, shows promise. “We have done wind assessment recently and they said there are possibilities in some coastal areas, so we are going to explore that,” Kaikaus said. This, however, would not suffice and importing power would turn out to be the most economical in the short span.
Several Indian companies are already benefitting from the increased power requirements of Bangladesh. In 2017, Adani Power inked a $2-billion pact with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to supply electricity from its upcoming 1,600-MW plant at Godda in Jharkhand. Other majors like Reliance Power, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, BHEL and more have bagged projects in the power space in Bangladesh.