India to set up HVDC transmission line with Nepal, Bhutan

HVDCIndia also hopes to have power transmission connectivity with ASEAN and SAARC countries. (IE)

India is working to set up an energy efficient power transmission line (HVDC) with Nepal and Bhutan as part of its energy security plans, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said on Thursday.

India also hopes to have power transmission connectivity with ASEAN and SAARC countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar, he said while addressing the World Energy Policy Summit 2013 here.

"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 (import) from Nepal.

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 said.

"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.

He, however, did not elaborate on the transmission connectivity plans to ASEAN nations.

India has been working for the last few years to put in place a multilateral SAARC Market for Electricity (SAME) and has plans to set up a larger SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) transmission grid.

In October, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had dedicated to the nation the 71-km Baharampur-Bheramara HVDC transmission link, which connected electricity grids of India and Bangladesh.

The link is designed to facilitate cross-border electricity transfer of up to 500 MW from India to Bangladesh.

As far as Bhutan is concerned, India's transmission link with that country is already in place.

The government has plans to augment the existing line to import upto 5,000 MW power from Bhutan by 2020 through HVDC (high voltage direct current) transmission line.

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