German company Siemens has completed the first cross-border electrical grid interconnection project between Bangladesh and India.

The project includes 125km of 400kV double circuit (D/C) transmission line between Bheramara in Bangladesh and Baharampur in India, a 400kV switching station at Baharampur and a 500MW back to back high voltage direct current (HVDC) substation (400/230kV) at Bheramara.

In March 2011, Siemens was awarded a turnkey contract by Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) to connect the power supply networks between the countries.

The scope of the contract included engineering, civil works, delivery of all components, installation and commissioning of the 500MW back-to-back HVDC system.

Having achieved full transmission power capacity in December 2013, the $193m project could also be expanded up to 1,000MW in the future.

Of the initial capacity, 250MW will be supplied by India from the unallocated quota of power at Central Electricity Regulatory Commission-specified rates under government-to-government electricity purchase agreement between VidyutVyapar Nigam and the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).

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"The remaining 250MW will be contracted by Bangladesh from the Indian electricity market."

The remaining 250MW will be contracted by Bangladesh from the Indian electricity market under another power purchase agreement with PTC India.

Developed under an India-Bangladesh power exchange program funded by the Asian Development Bank, the project has transmitted the first 175MW of power from India to Bangladesh in September 2013.

Earlier Powergrid Corporation of India and BPDB had agreed to develop a project to establish power interconnection between the countries. The Bangladesh Department of Environment approved the same in July 2010.

The project will help Bangladesh reduce the generation from less inefficient diesel power plants that will lower emission levels.

Image: Valve hall of the 500MW back-to-back HVDC system. Photo: courtesy of Siemens.