Tuesday, 24 May, 2022

2 Bangladeshi cos keen to invest in Nepalese hydropower

Power Division seeks detailed proposal from United Group, Confidence Group

2 Bangladeshi cos keen to invest in Nepalese hydropower
Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project in Nepal –photo collected

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Two Bangladeshi power companies --- United Group, Confidence Group--- have shown interest in investing in Nepalese hydropower as the government has opened up to electricity import from the Himalayan country.

“We have sought current payment security and fluctuation security on power tariff initially,” a top official of one of the private investors told the Daily Sun.

He also said the Power Division has asked the Bangladeshi power producers to submit a detailed proposal to invest in Nepal.

Power Cell Director General Mohammed Hossain said United Group and Confidence Group have shown their interest to invest in Nepal.

Currently, United Group is producing 1,301 megawatts for the national grid through 10 operational power generation facilities.

Besides, Confidence Group owns four Independent Power Producer (IPP) plants in Bogura, Rangpur and Chittagong regions, generating a maximum of 113 MW of electricity from each plant, amounting to 393.36 MW of electricity.

In a meeting on 23 February, the Power Division has asked Bangladesh Independent Power Producers Association (BIPPA) to conduct a financial policy analysis study on investment in Nepalese hydropower.

The study may be conducted through IFC Bank and any development bank recognized by globally, another official said. 

“The study will also guide efforts for electricity export to India also,” sources said adding that Indian private sector policy may help in this regard.

Bangladesh has a plan to sign a tripartite agreement with Nepal and India soon to import 500-MW (megawatts) electricity from the Himalayan country. This was disclosed after the third secretary-level steering    committee meeting between Bangladesh and Nepal at the end of last year.

“We are in final stage to sign the deal with Indian GMR Group and NVVN to import 500MW from Upper Karnali Hydropower electricity,” the Bangladesh delegation informed its Nepalese counterpart at the meeting.

Nepal proposed to supply 200MW of electricity to Bangladesh through the existing transmission line between Bangladesh and India.

They said both sides can exchange electricity considering the seasonal requirements.

The Nepalese government has already identified five different hydroelectricity prospects. Then Nepal sought private sector investment from Bangladesh.