Cabinet body approves power purchase deal with Delhi

The Cabinet Economic Affairs Committee Sunday approved in principle the agreement government signed with India to import 250 MW of electricity from the eastern part of the neighbouring country, reports UNB.

The cabinet body at a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith gave the nod to the deal placed by the Power Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.

The state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) and NVVN, a subsidiary of the Indian National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), signed the agreement in New Delhi on February 29 this year.

As per the deal, Bangladesh will get electricity from mid-2013 when the construction of a transmission line will be completed.

Sources said the Power Division placed the copy of the agreement along with an executive summary, but it did not mention any price of electricity. “Rather, the summary mentioned that the Indian Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) will fix the tariff as per Indian law.”

Referring to a letter of the Indian Power Secretary, the summary mentioned that the selling rate of per kilowatt hour (each unit) of electricity was Rs 2.40 last year. The CERC is the final authority to fix the tariff from time to time.

The members of the cabinet body discussed different issues of the agreement and gave their consent to the agreement.

Contacted, Power Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said, “We’ve initiated the agreement. No final agreement was inked. We’ll make it documented later on. That’s why there was no mention about the signing of the agreement.”

The cabinet body approved another two proposals on purchase of electricity from two private companies. PDB will buy electricity 216 MW from Beximco’s proposed 540 MW coal-based power plant to be set up in any place of country under merchant power plant policy. The tariff was fixed at Tk 4.97 per kilowatt hour (each unit).

The PDB will buy 15 MW power from 150 MW plant of Chittagong Power Company at a tariff of Tk 4.51 per unit.
Source: FE

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