Habibur Rahaman, Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh, is in Kathmandu leading the Bangladeshi delegation for the 4th secretary-level Joint Steering Committee (JSC) meeting for Nepal-Bangladesh energy collaboration, scheduled on 24th-25th August. Rahaman and his team along with Nepali senior officials visited the Sunkoshi-3 hydroelectric project in Ramechhap on Tuesday. Rahaman talked to Bhim Gautam, the editor of nepalinfrastructure.com online news portal, about the fresh updates on the Nepal-Bangladesh power trade and prospects of Bangladeshi investment in Nepal’s hydropower sector. Talking to nepalinfrastructure.com Rahaman shared Bangladesh’s plan to invest in the Khimti Shivalaya hydroelectricity project as the next venture. Rahaman said Bangladesh is interested to sign the Power Trade Agreement (PTA) with Nepal at the earliest through a trilateral agreement between Nepal, Bangladesh, and India.
Your team has just visited Sunkoshi-3 Hydro Electric Project? What is your feeling?
I am really excited to see the progress of the project. I can confidently say that it is going to become a fantastic project.
In your speech right earlier, you mentioned that Bangladesh is going to invest in Khimti Shiwalaya Project also. Can you share the upcoming ventures of Bangladesh for hydropower projects in Nepal?
We are planning to invest in more hydroelectric projects in Nepal. That is why this Sunkoshi-3 project is very important for us. It is considered a pilot project. We are sincerely implementing this first project and then we are implementing the Khimti Shivalaya project. Then our next move will be for many other potential hydropower projects in Nepal. We have seen the huge potential for investment in hydroelectric projects in Nepal. If we successfully implement these two projects, definitely we will be able to deliver other projects.
Tomorrow you are attending two crucial meetings with Nepali officials. Is Sunkoshi-3 among the key agendas of the meetings?
Definitely. Sunkoshi-3 is high on our agenda for discussion.
Can you share fresh development on Nepal-Bangladesh power trading?
We are interested to import electricity from Nepal. During the dry season, Nepal can also import from Bangladesh where energy is surplus then. We want power trading between Bangladesh and Nepal to start immediately. For this, we need a tripartite agreement between India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. We have already discussed the issues at various bi-lateral meetings with Indian officials.
Can you give fresh updates about the progress in purchasing electricity to be generated from the Upper Karnali hydroelectric project? How is the progress on signing Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with GMR company?
We are ready to sign a contract with GMR, very soon, I think within one month. The PPA ceremony will be held in Dhaka. We are also inviting Nepal officials at the function.
Are you discussing PTA between Bangladesh and Nepal at a meeting with Nepali officials in Kathmandu?
Definitely. We are positive about PTA with Nepal. To facilitate the trade, we are entering into a tripartite agreement between India, Nepal, and BD. We also need a dedicated line for power evacuation to Bangladesh from Nepal. For this also, we need consent from the Indian government to use Indian territory for Transmission Line. I am hopeful things will move on a positive note.