- Discuss about the facets of Indo-Bangladesh energy cooperation.
Energy has emerged as a major concern in today’s world, owing to the war in Ukraine and the global pandemic, with countries rethinking their schemes regarding energy production and its uninterrupted supply chain network. This has ushered in the advent of energy as a ‘geopolitical pivot’ in both bilateral and multilateral realms.
India-Bangladesh energy cooperation: The cooperation between Bangladesh and India in the power industry began with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 11 January 2010. On 5 October 2013, the first cross-border connection between Bangladesh and India was put into operation. The power transfer capacity over the Behrampur-Bheramara link increased to 1,000 MW on September 2018, with the commissioning of a second 500 MW HVDC block at the Bheramara back-to-back station. From the North-Eastern region of India, an additional linkage has been made to Bangladesh (Tripura state). On 17 March 2016, a 63-km long, 400 kV double circuit line connecting Surjyamaninagar, India, and Comilla, Bangladesh, was put into service.
Among the projects inaugurated, a major one is Unit I of the Maitree power plant. The 1,320 (660×2) MW supercritical coal-fired thermal power plant in Rampal, Khulna is being set up at an estimated cost of approximately US$ 2 billion, with US$ 1.6 billion as Indian Development Assistance under Concessional Financing Scheme.
The export of coal from India to Bangladesh commenced from July 2021 for the power plant. Stability in terms of coal supply will be the key to maintaining a continuous production of electricity which will ensure the sustainability of the grid. There is also a proposed high capacity 765 KV transmission line from Katihar (Bihar) to Bornagar (Assam) through Parbatipur in Bangladesh, through a properly constituted Bangladesh—India Joint Venture for a Special Purpose Vehicle.
The Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline – the INR 346 crore Pipeline Project will link Parbatipur in Bangladesh’s Dinajpur district with Siliguri in India’s West Bengal. The 130-kilometre pipeline will have a yearly capacity of 1 million metric tonnes.
Due to their rapid economic expansion, two of the world’s fastest-growing economies—Bangladesh and India—are driving up global energy demand. The past 10 years have seen successful and smooth energy collaboration between Bangladesh and India. This cooperation serves as a model for future cross-border successes and synergies in the South Asian region.