Nepal and Bangladesh have agreed to explore opportunities to develop hydropower projects in the Himalayan nation and launch power trading using Indian transmission lines.
During the Energy Secretary-level meeting here, the two countries also decided to form a joint technical team to identify potential hydropower projects for development.
“The joint team will pick out bankable projects and recommend them to the respective governments,” said the official, who attended the meeting.
Bangladesh has shown interest in developing hydropower projects in Nepal. The two countries even signed an agreement two years ago to develop a number of hydropower plants capable of generating 1,600 MW.
The then commerce minister Romi Gauchan Thakali and his Bangladeshi counterpart Tofail Ahmed signed the pact on the sidelines of the ninth South Asian Economic Summit in October 2016 to execute the 1,110 MW Sunkoshi II and 536 MW Sunkoshi III located on the Sunkoshi River in central Nepal.
However, the plan failed to move forward due to lack of intra-ministry coordination.
“The joint team will also explore the possibility of executing these two projects along with a few others under bilateral investment,” said the official, who attended the meeting.
Apart from developing the projects with government-to-government investment, the meeting also discussed the possibility of power trade between the two countries.
“The participants discussed using Indian transmission lines to conduct power trade between the two countries,” said the official, adding that “the two parties agreed to form a trilateral committee including India to make this possible.”
The Bangladeshi side also informed the Nepali delegation on the headway made by Dhaka in importing 500 MW of electricity from the 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydropower Project being constructed by an Indian joint venture company.