Bangladesh seeks to buy power from Bhutan as import from Nepal is at final stage

To meet the growing demand in the northern region, Bangladesh is going to import electricity from Nepal through transmission lines in India

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 25 March 2024, 04:29 PM
Updated : 25 March 2024, 04:29 PM

Bangladesh is seeking to import electricity from Bhutan, Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud has said after a meeting with the country’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.  

“We’ve discussed importing hydropower from Bhutan. India will cooperate in the process. We’re continuing discussions,” he said after paying a courtesy call on Wangchuk at a hotel in Dhaka on Monday. 

To meet the growing demand in the northern region, Bangladesh is going to import electricity from Nepal through transmission lines in India. 

The process of importing 40 MW of electricity from Nepal is at the final stage and the government wants to buy a minimum 500 MW of electricity from the country, according to State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu. 

King Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema arrived in Dhaka on Monday morning to join Bangladesh’s Independence Day celebrations. President Mohammed Shahabuddin welcomed them at the airport. 

After their meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the two sides signed three memoranda of understanding and an agreement. 

Under the new MoUs, Bangladesh will set up a burn and plastic surgery unit in Bhutan’s Thimphu, while a special economic zone dedicated to Bhutan will be established in Kurigram. 

The two governments will strengthen their technological cooperation to ensure consumer protections in both countries under a MoU. 

Mahmud said the two governments will not sign a deal on the import of hydropower during the Bhutanese king’s four-day visit to Bangladesh. 

He said he urged Bhutan to join the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Initiative or BBIN for greater connectivity in the region. 

The Bhutanese king took the matter with importance and called for increasing air-conectivity. 

Only two flights are available on the Dhaka-Thimphu route per week and it needs to be increased, he said. 

“Bhutan is a very beautiful country. People want to tour Bhutan after visiting the country once. We’ve discussed ways to allow people to travel to Bhutan via road,” Mahmud said.