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November 22, 2011

India plans to sell 500MW electricity to Pakistan

Business

REUTERS
November 22, 2011

NEW DELHI: India plans to sell 500 megawatts power to Pakistan, according to an Indian newspaper on Monday.
Officials of the two countries are scheduled to meet next month to finalise the tariff and grid connectivity, The Telegraph, Calcutta reported. Electricity trading with Pakistan is part of a larger plan of a South Asian transmission link, which will help countries in the subcontinent harness energy potential of the region, it said.
“The two countries have reached a formal understanding on the sale of electricity. The finer points are being worked out. The grid connectivity across the border would help Islamabad tide itself over outages,” the report quoted senior Indian Power Ministry officials, as saying.
The officials said that both the sides are considering setting up transmission infrastructure in a joint ownership to wheel around 500MW via Amritsar.As Lahore has complete transmission lines and grids and is near grid in Punjab, it will be economical to transfer power through Amritsar, they said.
The tariff would be a crucial issue to be discussed during the meeting, scheduled for early December, they said.“There is a political will among the leaders of the two nations to enhance trade ties and this would work in early solution of issues,” the officials said.
South Asian electricity trade is being seen as a major area of cooperation among the countries that will bring prosperity to the subcontinent by providing power to the deficit parts of the region.
“South Asia is a major hub of fast-growing economies, having 25 percent of the world’s population. There is an ongoing shift in focus from agriculture to manufacturing. No South Asian country can meet its energy needs entirely from within its own domestic resources. We need to integrate entire region with a robust power grid,” Indian State Minister for Power, KC Venugopal, said.
India will need around 250,000MW by 2017, a fivefold increase, to sustain its economic growth.

A South Asian grid will give the region 100,000MW to trade and help India tap hydropower and natural gas reserves of its neighbours, he said.
The grid model connecting Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland and another linking South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe are being studied.
“The energy and electricity cooperation are non-traditional areas of trade relationship development. Bhutan has managed to balance its trade with India with large exports of hydroelectric power. Similar potential exists for Bangladesh and Nepal,” according to a study conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry.
An integration of electricity grids across South Asia will reduce the power cost and enhance manufacturing competitiveness of all the members. Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan and India have huge hydroelectric potential, which can be tapped for intra-regional power trade, the study revealed.
While a transmission link with Bhutan is in place, there are plans to tweak existing line to enable imports up to 5,000MW into India by 2020. Indian firms are working on hydel projects of 10,000MW in Bhutan and 1,000MW in Nepal to be able to share power from these projects. New Delhi is setting up a link with Bangladesh.
Plans are underway to set up transmission link to exchange up to 1,000MW with Sri Lanka, the report added.