In a big boost to cooperation in the South Asia region and marking the beginning of energy cooperation between India and Bangladesh, New Delhi will commence supply of 250 MW of power to Dhaka from next month onwards while the proposal for supply of 500 MW of power to Pakistan seems to have taken a backseat in the given circumstances.

State-owned NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), a subsidiary of NTPC Ltd, is expected to start supplying power to Bangladesh from September 2013. NVVN has been nominated as the nodal agency for supply of power to Bangladesh.

The development comes close on heels of Bangladesh Joint Secretary (Power), Mohammad Anwar Hossain handing over the sovereign guarantee to NVVN, CEO Nand Kishore Sharma in Dhaka on August 7. A sovereign guarantee is an instrument of payment security against supply of the 250 MW for 25 years from various power stations of NTPC under the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed between NVVN and BPDB in February last year. The energy agreement with Bangladesh is on similar lines with other neighbours like Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The Nawz Sharif government in Pakistan Government was very keen on entering into an agreement with India to supply of 500 MW of power in the first phase and expand the relationship later on. Pakistan is faced with a serious deficit of power and the country faces massive power cuts and load shedding. A delegation from Pakistan was expected to be in India this month for talks for purchase of 500 MW of power but in view of the fresh development on the Poonch border, this move is likely to take a backseat for the time being. India also plans to import nearly 5000 MW of power by 2020.

It is learnt that the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has already entered into negotiations with the Indian authorities including the Power Ministry for supply of another 250 MW in the near future. The electrical grid interconnection between the two countries will be through a 1X500 MW HVDC back-to-back asynchronous link between Eastern region of India and Western Grid of Bangladesh would facilitate cross-border power transfer of 500 MW across the two countries.

The HVDC 500 MW unit has been established at Bheramara. On the India side, 400 kV switching station has been set up at Baharampur in West Bengal by loop-in-loop out of the existing 400 kV Farakka-Jeerat S/C line. The cross-border inter-connection has been established by Baharampur (India)-Bheramara (Bangladesh) 400 kV D/C line.