The government of Nepal has proposed to the Bangladeshi authorities to hold the first joint energy mechanism meeting on energy cooperation on November 15 and 16, in Kathmandu. The Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI) has sent a final invitation to the Bangladeshi government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the purpose.
“We have fixed the date and venue and now we are holding discussions on the agendas that could be included in the meeting,” said Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, joint secretary at the MoEWRI.
On August 9, Nepal and Bangladesh had inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on energy cooperation in the presence of energy ministers of both the countries. At that time, Bangladeshi State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, had mentioned that Bangladeshi investors are interested to invest in the hydropower and renewable energy sector in Nepal.
Bangladesh has proposed investing in Nepal’s energy sector through government-to-government (G2G) initiative and in partnership with the private sector.
While signing the MoU, both the governments had agreed to form a power secretary-level joint steering committee (JSC) and joint secretary-level joint working group (JWG). The JSC and JWG will meet every year and discuss and take forward the issues related to cooperation in the power sector of both the countries.
According to the MoU, the MoEWRI has formed a JSC committee led by Secretary Anup Kumar Upadhyaya and also the JWG committee, which is led by Joint Secretary Dinesh Kumar Ghimire. As per MoEWRI, the Bangladeshi government has also formed similar committees for discussions and negotiations with Nepal.
Earlier, the Bangladeshi government had proposed to build the 1,110-megawatt Sunkoshi II and 536-megawatt Sunkoshi III hydropower projects located at Sunkoshi River through its own investment. Bangladeshi authorities had also shown interest to invest in the 300-megawatt Upper Arun and 300-megawatt Dudhkoshi hydropower projects.
Likewise, they had also proposed to Nepal to purchase 500 megawatts of electricity from the Upper Karnali hydroelectric project.
On August 30 and 31, Nepal had successfully organised the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) meeting. The BIMSTEC meeting was focused on electricity generation, development of hydroelectricity, cross-border transmission lines, and development of efficient human resources in the hydel sector, promotion of G2G and private sector investment, grid connectivity, power efficiency, investment in renewable energy, among others.