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BIMSTEC Energy Confce In Dhaka

Thrust on regional power management

Published : Wednesday, 26 February, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 106
Diplomatic Correspondent

Diplomatic Correspondent
Speakers at an international conference on integrated power management issue has underscored the need for regional energy cooperation that offers an ideal platform for achieving sustainable growth through sharing of available energy resources in the South and Southeast Asian region.
"Establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection is a must to facilitate electricity trade among the member states by putting in place a region-wide grid," they said, adding that awareness among the stakeholders is needed for accelerated regional energy cooperation and improved cross border energy trade in the region.
They made all these remarks at an international conference organized by the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) at its office in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Taking part in the discussion, Prime Minister's Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury  said the BIMSTEC is working on connecting around 3,000 kilometre-long power grid from      Myanmar-Thailand - India.
BIMSTECH launched the conference seeking effective ways for integrated power management among regional nations through enhanced cooperation. In 2018, BIMSTEC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for establishment of the BIMSTEC grid interconnection to facilitate electricity trade among the member states by putting in place a region-wide grid.
 "The proposed grid connectivity among the (BIMSTEC) nations could ensure capacity or load factor utilisation through complementing each other on the basis of the member countries' energy demand and supply status," he said.
The connectivity will also enhance the efficiency of the energy by reducing the electricity cost for the consumers and ensure uninterrupted quality electricity supply for industrial and commercial sectors maintaining stability in the power sector.
Mentioning the dilapidated transmission line, he, however, said fluctuation of Bangladesh's existing power transmission and distribution network currently appeared to be barrier for electricity swapping with other countries but "we are trying to improve the transmission and distribution network".
Besides, the journey towards building regional energy integration, will help to build an integrated system and economic zone in this region reducing the inter-conflict among the member state of the organization, Chowdhury said, adding when the countries are inter depended on each other, the conflict is reduced in a great extend.
The conference will help in taking forward the implementation of various articles of the MOU for establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection and in forging a partnership among various stakeholders.
Talking to newsmen later on the sidelines of the conference, the energy adviser said two of the BIMSTEC members -Nepal and Bhutan- have high hydropower potentials, but the countries face with power deficiency during the lean seasons.
Chowdhury said Bangladesh could supply power to the two countries during the time of their need and in exchange import their hydropower during the monsoon.
He, however, said fluctuation of Bangladesh's existing power transmission and distribution network currently appeared to be barrier for electricity swapping with other countries but "we are trying to improve the transmission and distribution network".
Besides, the journey towards building regional energy integration, will
help build an integrated system and economic zone in this region reducing the inter-conflict among the member state of the organization, Chowdhury said, adding that when the countries are inter depended on each other, the conflict is reduced in a great extend.
Noting that no political issue is permanent, but temporary, he said, "We want that Myanmar should resolve the Rohingya crisis. I believe, once the disputes between Bangladesh and Myanmar are settled, we could take the power rid connectivity to Thailand from Myanmar".
BIMSTEC Secretary General M Shahidul Islam delivered the welcome address in the inaugural function while Mission Director of USAID, Bangladesh, Derrick  S Brown spoke, among others.




Project Director of the South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy
Integration (SARI/EI) Pankaj Batra gave vote of thanks.



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