The Union Cabinet has approved signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Establishment of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Grid Interconnection”.
The MoU will be signed among member states of BIMSTEC at the upcoming third BIMSTEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting to be held in Nepal.
- The MoU provides broad framework for members to cooperate towards implementation of grid interconnections for electricity trade to promote rational and optimal power transmission in BIMSTEC region.
- It also provides optimization of using the energy resources in the region for mutual benefits on non-discriminatory basis subject to rules and regulations, laws of member countries;
- It also aims to promote efficient, economic, and secure operation of power system needed through the development of regional electricity networks.
- It also highlights the necessity of optimization of capital investment for generation capacity addition across the region and power exchange through cross border interconnections.
- BIMSTEC is an international organisation involving a group of 7 countries from South Asia and South East Asia viz. India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand and Myanmar.
- The first BIMSTEC Energy Ministers’ Conference held in New Delhi in October 2005, had formulated the “Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation in BIMSTEC”.
- In this plan, under the “BIMSTEC Trans-Power Exchange and Development Project”, Task Force led by Thailand, with representatives of member countries will give report on draft MoU for grid interconnections.
- Since then total five meetings Task Force were held and the draft MoU for establishment of BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection was finalized in March 2015.
- In the BIMSTEC Leaders’ Retreat 2016, held in Goa in October 2016, Leaders decided to expedite the signing of the MoU on BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection.