Nepal, Bangladesh ink MoU on energy cooperation
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Aug. 11: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on energy cooperation between Nepal and Bangladesh was signed on Friday, ensuring Bangladesh’s entry in Nepal’s power development sector.
The agreement has opened up a new avenue for trade in power and investment in hydropower between the two friendly countries.
The two countries have been holding talks on bilateral energy cooperation since 2014.
Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun and State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh Nasrul Hamid inked the agreement at a special function held at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation today.
The two countries signed the MoU on Energy Sector Cooperation with the objectives of enhancing economic development of the two countries, uplifting the living standards of the people, increasing power generation and transforming the bilateral benefits achieved through the development of the power sector into regional benefit, among others.
Grid connectivity, energy efficiency, development of renewable energy and exploitation of the vast water resources of the region to improve the living standard of the people of the entire region are the other objectives of the agreement, according the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation.
It has maintained that there would be coordination between the government agencies and private sector agencies for investment, construction, operation and design of hydropower projects.
The MoU has a provision to invest and cooperate in developing hydropower projects by abiding by the rules and regulations of the concerned countries.
The MoU has also a provision to facilitate the government agencies and the private sector agencies for the successful implementation of the projects and visits to the hydropower projects developed in the two countries.
Likewise, the two countries can take necessary steps for establishing national and regional grid connectivity and look for possible options for power trade between them.
The MoU also provisions to form a joint task force under the co-chairmanship of the joint secretaries of the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation of Nepal and Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh.
Likewise, a joint directive committee, to be jointly co-chaired by the Energy Secretaries of both the countries, will be formed to review the works of the joint task force committee.
Minister Pun said that the two countries had signed a historic MoU in the energy sector, opening the door for Nepal to export power.
“It is an opportunity for us to exchange views on key issues of mutual interest in order to embark on cooperation in the power sector, Minister Pun said during the MoU inking ceremony.
“I believe that the cooperation areas we are about to enter through this MOU will not only serve as an important platform to strengthen our cooperation in the power sector but also as a stepping stone towards our continuous effort in realising the aspiration to achieve energy security through regional/sub regional cooperation,” he said.
Minister Pun said that Bangladesh was ready to import around 500 megawatts of electricity from Nepal immediately.
The Government of Nepal has adopted a policy to optimise the utilisation of water resources to generate hydroelectricity through the involvement of the private sector since 1992.
With this initiative, hydropower projects of more than 4,000 MW capacity are now in different stages of construction, and in the next 3-5 years, electricity generation in the country is expected to triple, he said.
On the occasion Development of power and energy sectors between Nepal and Bangladesh was a long-cherished dream, and we have realised this, Minister Hamid of Bangladesh said.
With the signing of this MoU, possibilities in others areas of cooperation have also opened besides cooperation in the hydropower sector and power trading between two counties, he said, adding that the Government of Bangladesh was interested to invest in the hydropower sector of Nepal.
“We can make cooperation on a government to government basis. We can come direct from the government. Our private sector will also invest in hydropower projects of Nepal,” he said.
He said that they would discuss transit of electricity from Nepal to Bangladesh through India.
The Government of Bangladesh needs more power to achieve the economic growth target of 10 per cent in the coming years from the existing 7.2 per cent, he said.