Bangladesh and India inaugurate joint power transmission plant

DHAKA (Reuters) - The Prime Ministers of Bangladesh and India have inaugurated a joint power transmission plant through which Bangladesh will receive up to 500MW of electricity, a senior official said.

The move is potentially significant for Bangladesh, which is trying to augment its own electricity generation to help it achieve 8 per cent economic growth. Its generation capacity is currently about 6,000MW, against demand for more than 7,500MW.

Inaugurating the Bangladesh-India Power Transmission Plant on Saturday, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the country was also trying to import another 500MW of power from India and was also making another attempt to purchase electricity through a tripartite agreement involving Nepal, India and Bhutan.

A grid interconnection between Bheramara in Bangladesh and Baharampur in India was completed at the end of August, officials said.

Mr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, a government adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is responsible for the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, said the cost of the imported power would be similar to the cost of Bangladeshi-produced electricity.