India to install HVDC power link with Nepal, Bhutan

New Delhi, Dec 5 : India is working to install a high voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission line to Nepal and Bhutan, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Thursday.

"We are also working on the India-Nepal HVDC link which will perhaps begin with providing power to Nepal in order ultimately to be able to take power from Nepal," Khurshid said inaugurating the World Energy Policy Summit 2013 here.

"Again, same sort of thing is what we hope we will be able to do with Bhutan. Nepal and Bhutan will become a major source of supply of power to India," he added.

The external affairs minister said India also hopes to have power connectivity with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and South Asian Assciation for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries.

"Of course, we could have a grid that goes into ASEAN. We have road connectivity with ASEAN, but we would also have hopefully power connectivity with ASEAN, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and into Pakistan and perhaps into Afghanistan as well," Khurshid said.

India has been working to set up a multilateral SAARC Market for Electricity (SAME) and also plans to set up a SAARC power transmission grid.

India plans to augment the existing line from Bhutan to import up to 5,000 MW power by 2020 through an HVDC transmission link.

The Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) erected a 40 MW transmission line to Nepal in 2012, which currently imports about 150 MW power from India.

A 71-km Baharampur-Bheramara HVDC transmission link to connect the grids of India and Bangladesh was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in October. The commissioning of this link would facilitate cross-border electricity transfer of up to 500 MW from India to Bangladesh.

HVDC technology in transmission is more energy efficient than the AC (alternating current) system, and also requires fewer transmission lines.

--IANS (Posted on 05-12-2013)

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