India Cabinet Approves Signing of BIMSTEC Power Grid Pact

20 April 2017

India's Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved on 12 April 2017 the ratification of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Establishment of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Grid Interconnection. The Memorandum was proposed by the Indian Ministry of Power.

The MOU will provide a broad framework for the BIMSTEC countries to cooperate toward the implementation of grid interconnections for trade in electricity. It aims to promote rational and optimal power transmission in the BIMSTEC region. BIMSTEC member countries comprise Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

The MOU will also facilitate the optimization of energy resources in the region for mutual benefit, subject to laws and regulations of the respective parties; promote efficient and secure operation of power systems; optimize capital investment for generation capacity across the region; and facilitate power exchange through cross-border interconnections.

The MOU is expected to be signed by BIMSTEC member states at the next BIMSTEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting to be scheduled in Nepal.

The BIMSTEC Energy Ministers’ Conference formulated the Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation in BIMSTEC on 4 October 2005, in New Delhi. The Plan mandated a task force to report on a draft MOU for grid interconnections.

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