Cabinet approves MoU for establishment of BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection

New Delhi [India], April 12 (ANI): The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal of the Ministry of Power for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the BIMSTEC grid interconnection.

A cabinet release said that the MoU will be signed by member states of BIMSTEC at the upcoming 3rd BIMSTEC Energy Ministers' Meeting to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal shortly.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia viz. Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

The Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation in BIMSTEC was formulated in the first BIMSTEC Energy Ministers' Conference held in New Delhi on October 4, 2005.

In this plan, under the "BIMSTEC Trans-Power Exchange and Development Project", it was decided that a task force led by Thailand, with representatives of member countries, will give a report on draft MoU for grid interconnections.

A total five meetings were held and the draft MoU for establishment of the BIMSTEC grid interconnection was finalised on March 16, 2015.

In the BIMSTEC Leaders' Retreat 2016, held in Goa on October 16, 2016, the leaders decided to expedite the signing of the MoU on BIMSTEC grid interconnection.

Eventually, during the fourth meeting of BIMSTEC senior officials on energy held on January 11 and 12, 2017, the MoU was discussed and finalised.

This MoU will provide a broad framework for the parties to cooperate towards the implementation of grid interconnections for the trade in electricity with a view to promoting rational and optimal power transmission in the BIMSTEC region.

This MoU will facilitate:

(i) Optimization of using the energy resources in the region for mutual benefits on non-discriminatory basis subject to laws, rules and regulations of the respective Parties;

(ii) Promotion of efficient, economic, and secure operation of power system needed through the development of regional electricity networks;

(iii) Necessity of optimization of capital investment for generation capacity addition across the region; and

(iv) Power exchange through cross border interconnections. (ANI)