Nepal, Bangladesh sign MoU for energy cooperation

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Kathmandu : Nepal and Bangladesh on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in the development of the energy sector for the first time.

Nepali Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun and Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh, Nasrul Hamid, signed the agreement.

Bangladesh had been showing interest in joint investment in the energy sector in Nepal since long.

As per the MoU, a joint executive committee at the Energy Secretary level and the joint technical group at the Joint Secretary level would be formed for bilateral collaboration.

The two bodies would convene their meetings within the coming two months to determine the future course of action.

According to statement issued by Nepal's Ministry of Energy, Bangladesh will purchase 500 megawatts power from the Himalayan country.

Bangladeshi Minister of State for Electricity, Energy and Mines Hamid said that his country had come up with the move to cherish the dream of his people and address growing energy needs in his country.

The government and private sector of both the countries will work together to tap Nepal's umpteen potential in hydropower, he said, terming the agreement signing a matter of "historic importance".

Informing that his country has set a target to graduate to the league of developed countries by 2041, he said that they would need around 60,000 MW power. Nepal is an appropriate alternative source for this, he added.

"We require 24,000MW electricity by 2021. Now, Bangladesh has the economic growth rate of 7.2 per cent and has set the target to increase this to 10 per cent by next year," Hamid said.

In a press meet after signing the MoU, Pun and Hamid said that they will hold talks with India on the issues of a transmission line.

It is expected that Oli and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina will hold talks regarding the issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in BIMSTEC meeting in Kathmandu on August 30.

Pun further expected that the electricity generated in Nepal could be exported to Bangladesh by developing a SAARC level grid.