State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid has said that cross border electricity trade through regional cooperation will play a pivotal role in the development of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) region.
He made the remarks while addressing a seminar as chief guest in Nepalese capital Kathmandu on Friday, according to a message received in Dhaka.
The state minister was on a visit to the Himalayan nation where Dhaka and Kathmandu signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation in power and energy sector between the two neighbouring countries.
Bangladesh Embassy in Nepal organised the seminar on Power Sector Cooperation between Bangladesh and Nepal in association with Energy Development Council of Nepal and Independent Power Producers Association, Nepal.
Nasrul Hamid said SAARC network agreement for energy cooperation was signed while BIMSTEC has been working to enhance the regional cooperation among its member countries.
He mentioned that Bangladesh needs an investment of $80 billion for generating 60,000 MW by 2040 to meet its demand.
In this regard, he said, US company GE has already signed deals to invest $2 billion while European company Siemens $15 billion, middle-east nations 1 billion, Japan $6.6 billion and China $7.5 billion.
“Prompt decision, capacity charge and investment security have attracted this huge investment,” he said.
The State Minister said Bangladesh government has evolved “Power System Master Plan 2016” where a fuel mix was introduced which will play an important role to resolve the country’s power crisis.
As per plan, Bangladesh will generate 35 per cent electricity from coal, while another 35 per cent from gas, 10 per cent from renewable, 11 per cent from cross border trade, 6 per cent nuclear and 3 per cent from hydropower and other sources.
Nepal Board of Investment chief executive officer Maha Prasad Adhikari said Bangladesh can invest in hydropower projects in Nepal to general some 8000 MW of electricity.
Officials from Independent Power Producers Association of Nepal said that if there is a direct cross border electricity trade between Dhaka and Kathmandu, it would be more profitable for both the nations.
But to avail these facilities, the issue of multilateral and multination cross border issues must be included in the cross border guideline though consultation with India, they said.
The seminar was also addressed by chief of the executive committee of Nepal Energy Development Council Kushal Gurung, president of Independent Power Producers Association, Nepal Shailendra Guragian and Bangladesh Ambassador in Nepal Mashfi Bint Shams.
Semanta Dahal, member of the Nepal Energy Development Council, conducted the seminar.