Another Indo-BD grid soon for power import

More 500MW power purchase from neighbouring state planned to meet growing demand

FHM Humayan Kabir | Published: July 25, 2017 07:51:13 | Updated: October 20, 2017 02:08:13

Bangladesh will install another cross-border high-voltage transmission line for importing 500-megawatt electricity from India, officials said Monday.


This will be the second such line to be used for importing Indian electricity. Currently, 500MW power is being imported everyday from India through the first 400kv transmission grid line.


The state-run Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) will set up the 400-kilovolt (kv) high-voltage double-circuit grid line between Bheramara in Bangladesh and bordering Berhampur in India to import power from the neighbouring state, West Bengal, QM Shafiqul Islam, a superintending engineer of PGCB, told the FE.


Mr Islam said they had already sent a Tk 1.88-billion worth of project proposal to the Planning Commission (PC) for government approval for installing the second transmission.


He said the government is expected to bankroll Tk 1.74 billion, the lion's share of the total cost, while the remaining Tk 136.5 million will be spent by the PGCB from its own funds.


"We are upgrading the existing 400kv cross-border grid line. After the upgrading, the exiting grid line also could supply 1000MW electricity. But the proposed second line will work as an alternative grid for ensuring reliable power supply," he added.


If any circuit of the first line trips, then the second line will ensure uninterrupted power supply to Bangladesh from India, the company SE told the FE.


Mr Islam said the PGCB has already invited tender for setting up the second cross-border transmission line.


Meanwhile, the state-owned power company completed the first 400kv Bheramara-Baharampur transmission-line construction in September 2013. Thereafter, in October 2013 the government started import 250MW power from India, which later increased to 500 megawatt.


Mr Shafiqul Islam said the grid line on the Indian side had already been upgraded. "When the second grid-line construction will be completed, Bangladesh will be able to import another 500MW power from India."


According to the PGCB, it has plans to set up the second 40-kilometre double-circuit line between Bheramara and bordering Baharampur of India by December 2018.


Earlier, Bangladesh had signed a 500MW power-import deal with India under which it could begin the power import from the neighbouring country in late 2012.


In July 2010, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) signed a 35-year power agreement with the Power Grid Company of India Ltd (PGCIL) to import 250MW electricity in the first phase.


The proposed back-to-back High Voltage Direct Current (HDVC) 125-km transmission line connects Baharampur in India and Bheramara in Bangladesh, which can transfer 500MW electricity.


India's largest electricity producer, National Thermal Power Company (NTPC), is supplying power to Bangladesh under a move meant for helping strengthen trade ties between the two nations.


The stat-owned BPDB purchases the power from the Indian public company, NTPC, under a power-purchase agreement signed in February 2012.

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