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Power import begins: India supplies 50MW on trial basis; formal inauguration on Oct 5

The much-talked about power import from India began on trial basis yesterday by adding 50 megawatts to the national grid. The 50MW electricity was supplied around 10:45am to a sub-station of Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) in Bheramara in Kushtia.

The Bheramara power grid in Kushtia. Photo: Star

The load was raised up to 175MW by 5:00pm when it was suspended for a detailed technical study on the both sides of the border, said Kazi Ishtiak Hasan, project director (in-charge) of Grid Interconnection between Bangladesh (Bheramara) and India (Baharampur).
He said initially 50 to 175MW electricity will be imported and supplied to national grid every day till October 5, when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh will switch on the supply from respective sides through a teleconference.
After the inauguration, the transmission will be increased up to 250MW, and 500 MW at the end of November.
PGCB Adviser PK Roy, Managing Director Chowdhury Alamgir Hossain and Deputy General Manager of Power Grid Corporation of India Kalim Akhter, among others, were present at the Bheramara substation at the time of importing electricity.
A number of Kushtia people, including businessmen, talking to this correspondent expressed satisfaction over the electricity import and hoped it would help ease the load shedding they have been facing.

Bheramara power grid. Photo: Star
PGCB has set up the substation on 112 acres of land at Gopinathpur in Bheramara with link to substation at Baharampur in West Bengal.
The Bheramara substation is capable of both importing and exporting electricity from and to India.
A 125-kilometre transmission line has been constructed between Bheramara and Baharampur. Of this line, 40km fell inside Bangladesh.
Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury on Wednesday said India would start a test supply of 250 MW of power by Friday, with commercial supply beginning on October 5.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two countries in 2010 on import of a total of 500 MW power from India.
Half of this power will be coming from the Indian central government electricity quota and the rest from its open market.
The total amount of electricity, to be imported under a 35-year contract, is expected to improve the country’s power crisis situation now being tackled through costly but short-term rental power plants.
The tariff along with the wheeling charge of the power imported will be between a little less than Tk 6 and Tk 6.35 per kilowatt-hour or unit.
The rate ranges between Tk 7.5 and Tk 22 per unit for the rental power plants and between Tk 2.5 and Tk 4.8 per unit for the large local gas-fired power plants.


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