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China eyes power sharing with BD thru' Myanmar

Also sees BCIM corridor crucial to implementing OBOR flagship

Monira Munni, back from China | November 06, 2017 00:00:00

China sees prospect of electricity sharing with Bangladesh through Myanmar through trans-border interconnection transmitting clean hydropower from Yunnan Province.

A senior official in Guangzhou spoke about this plan and also said Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) corridor is very important for implementing China's 'One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.

Beijing and Dhaka enjoy very good relationship, Li Xinhao, deputy director of the International Business Department at CSG (China Southern Power Grid), told a Bangladesh media delegation on Saturday at his office in Guangzhou.

"CSG can help operate or improve Bangladesh current power grid to ensure better supply of power," he said.

The 12-member media delegation, led by Hosne Ara Talukder, director, news, at Bangladesh Betar, visited the power-grid company during their visit to China since October 26 till November 04.

Stable grid or stable supply of power is important not only to guarantee manufacturing industry but also helps economic development, he said, adding that his company is willing to help Bangladesh develop its power industry by sharing their strength in technology management and talents and overseas experiences.

Explaining the company's overseas business, Mr Xinhao said the company has interconnected power grid with Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos and now strides for more comprehensive and extensive power cooperation with these countries.

He said CSG is closely following the power crisis in Bangladesh which has a huge population and where manufacturing industry is growing very fast. "We know you will have great power demand in future when, after a certain stage, you will go for high-end manufacturing."

As the key enterprise under the direct leadership of central government of China, the company is devoted to promoting power cooperation between Bangladesh and China and also the friendship between the two countries, Mr Xinhao told the media team.

"We are now considering connecting our grid with Myanmar and this connection can be extended to Bangladesh in future as both the countries share their borders," he said.

It will be easier to transmit the clean hydropower from Yunnan Province to Myanmar and then over to Bangladesh under the trans-border power grid China plans.

Responding to a question over the current Rohingya crisis, he said the interconnection through a third country can be complex especially when there are border issues between the third country and the destination country.

He opined that as an individual company they can't facilitate such interconnection as they just implement central government's instructions.

Terming it a 'state-to-state issue' that might involve political and economic landscapes, he hoped that Bangladesh and Myanmar would reach an agreement in this regard in future following the interconnection and power grid between China and Myanmar.

Responding to another question, the CSG official suggested that power generation should be in line with resources Bangladesh has.

"Bangladesh is rich in hydropower, you should prioritize clean power or if you have coal or can import coal from a foreign country, it would be viable," he mentioned.

Chinese electrical machinery equipment-manufacturing companies have most advanced technology to supply coal-based power-plant machines to Bangladesh. The CSG and the Chinese government are giving importance to renovating and improving coal-based power plant and to minimize carbon emission, he said.

The CSG invests, constructs and operates power network in Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, Guizhou and Hainan Provinces with a total service area of one million square kilometres with more than 230 million residential and business customers, according to the company.

It sold 829.7 kws of electricity with 195.3kw electricity transmitted from the west to east, ranking 95th in Fortune Global 500 and Standards and Poor's Moody's and Fitch awarded CSG their highest sovereign rating, it added.


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