Import of power from India defered again

Financial Express June 6, 2012

State-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board has extended the bid submission deadline by 14 days to June 25, 2012 for the India’s potential gas or coal based power plant owners, suppliers or traders to supply 250 megawatts (mw) of electricity, a top official said.

The deadline has been extended from the previous deadline of June 11, 2012 following consultation with some interested bidders, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir told the FE Tuesday.

Bangladesh for the first time invited bids in mid-April exclusively for Indian bidders to purchase electricity through competitive bidding from Indian market to meet the domestic demand.

The selected sponsor will be required to supply power upto Bohrompur substation in Murshidabad of India at 400 kv level, which will be transferred to Bheramara grid substation of Kushtia in Bangladesh by Power Grid Company of India (PGCI) and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB).

The BPDB seeks to select the sponsor who has the capacity to export 250 mw to Bangladesh and invites the interested bidders to submit technical and commercial proposal and tariff proposal.

BPDB will ink a power purchase deal with the successful bidder and the agreement will be effective initially for a period of 15 years from supply commencement date.

The tenure of the agreement can be extended further on mutual understanding.

The BPDB official said Bangladesh will purchase 250 mw of electricity directly from Indian sponsors in addition to import of already agreed another 250 mw of electricity from India’s state-run NTPC to meet the country’s mounting electricity need.

Bangladesh is eyeing utilisation of the total 500mw of electricity from India by July 2013 for local needs.

The BPDB and the Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd, or NVVN, a wholly owned subsidiary of India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) inked the deal to import 250 mw of electricity on February 28, 2012 in India.

The deal has a 25-year term and as per its provision India will also be able to purchase electricity from Bangladesh, if the country has surplus electricity.

As per the deal signed between the BPDB and NVVN, Bangladesh will purchase 250 mw of electricity from India at a cost of around Tk 4.0 per unit.

BPDB will have to pay additional Tk 0.80 per unit as wheeling charge to the power distribution firm. The electricity tariff may, however, change as per direction from the Indian Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).

Works of transmission line and construction of substations to facilitate electricity import will be completed by June 2013.

Officials said the electricity from India will help ease Bangladesh’s electricity crisis.

Bangladesh’s overall electricity generation is now hovering around 5,000 mw against the demand for more than 6,500 mw.

The government has a target to augment electricity generation to 20,000 mw by 2021.

It will also help establish a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) electricity grid. Currently India has a power link with Bhutan.

Simultaneously, it is also in discussion with Sri Lanka for an undersea link and with Nepal for an overland interconnection that will allow electricity exchange.

India and Pakistan are also in talks over electricity exchange, said sources.