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Is India positioning itself as Bangladesh’s major energy supplier?

PM Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina at the joint press conference after their bilateral meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday (Photo credit- MEA)

India could become a major supplier of energy to Bangladesh as the latter grapples with an acute power crisis amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

While at present, India supplies about 1160 MW electricity to Bangladesh. New Delhi is already looking at providing another 1500 MW to Dhaka.

Bangladesh is looking at India for more concrete measures to boost energy security in the region. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is on a four day tour to India, discussed issues relating to energy security with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar yesterday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hasina also met at Hyderabad House today.

The leaders have met 12 times since 2015.

While the Maitree Thermal Power project is slated for a joint inauguration by the two leaders, there could be more announcements related to the energy sector.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen said Dhaka would be keen to buy oil from India “it if the terms and prices are favourable.”

“From India, we can get its surplus fuel [if any] on favourable terms and conditions. We will of course consider that,” Dhaka based newspaper the Daily Star quoted the Momen as saying.

Meanwhile, industrialist Gautam Adani after meeting Hasina on Monday, underlined the need to complete the transmission line being constructed as part of the 1,600 MW Godda power project which will then resume exports to Bangladesh by this December. Earlier, it was expected to commence by 2021 but the project work was hit due to Covid related restrictions which were in place since 2020.

“We are committed to commissioning our 1600 MW Godda Power Project and dedicated transmission line to Bangladesh by Bijoy Dibosh, 16 Dec 2022,” Adani said in a tweet.

Dhaka, may now even consider coming up with a mechanism to source energy from Russia.

Under Hasina, Bangladesh made significant progress in the energy sector. However, due to the current geopolitical instability driven by rise in global energy prices, Bangladesh has been once again facing acute power shortage.

“This area will therefore be one of the thrusts and many in Bangladesh are keenly monitoring developments in this area,” an analyst told India Narrative. If the power crisis continues, the country’s economy will be hit. “The progress, Dhaka has made could somewhat be undone if this energy crisis persists,” the analyst added.

India, currently a power surplus nation, is estimated to have an installed capacity of 6,19,066 MW by the end of 2026-27. This includes 2,38,150 MW coal, 25,735 MW gas, 63,301 MW hydro, 16,880 MW nuclear and 2,75,000 MW renewable energy sources, that will meet the electricity demand projected as per the 19th Electric Power Survey on All India basis.

Also read: India, Bangladesh economic integration key for development of both countries