South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy Integration (SARI/EI) and US AID (United States Agency for International Development) organized the Two Days Conference on Enhancing Energy Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) region held at Bangladesh capital Dhaka between February 25-26, 2020. During the conference they released the report “prospect of regional energy cooperation and cross-border energy trade in the BIMSTEC region”.India has 98% of coal resources & tops in all energy resources among BIMSTEC region-“prospect of regional energy cooperation and cross-border energy trade in the BIMSTEC region” report:
i.The report showed that the BIMSTEC region has 323,504 million tonnes(MT) of coal, 664 million tonnes of oil, 99 Trillion Cubic Feet(TCF) of gas, 11,346 MT of biomass, 328 Giga Watts(GW) of hydropower and 1,117 GW of renewable energy.
ii.India tops on all energy resources by having 319,020 MT of coal, 600 MT oil, 45.5 TCF gas, 4,150 MT biomass and 145 GW hydro and 1,000 GW renewable energy respectively.India has 98pc of coal resources among BIMSTEC countries.
iii.According to the Report Bangladesh ranks 2nd in the coal resources by having 3300 MT followed by Thailand, with 1063 MT of coal.
iv.In renewable and biomass resources, Myanmar ranks second with 1000 GW and 3303 MT biomass.
3,000-kilometer-long power grid:
i.BIMSTEC is working on connecting 3,000-kilometre long power grid from Myanmar-Thailand to India to ensure better capacity utilization by complementing members country’s demand and supply situation.
ii.And the power grid will also benefit for the consumers to get uninterrupted power supply and the price of the electricity will become low.
iii.BIMSTEC countries had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for establishing a regional power grid during the 4th BIMSTEC summit held at Kathmandu, Nepal in 2018 and the MoU came into force from 2019.
iv.Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are interested in investing in BIMSTEC regional power grid projects.
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an International organization with seven member countries from South and Southeast Asia namely Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan. It aims to promote regional cooperation for rapid economic development.
On 6 June 1997, BIMSTEC was formed in Bangkok under the name BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation) & In December 1997 during a special Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok they include Myanmar and then the Group was renamed as ‘BIMST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation). In 1998, Nepal became an observer & in February 2004, Nepal and Bhutan became full members & On 31 July 2004, in the first Summit it was renamed as BIMSTEC or the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation.
Headquarters- Dhaka, Bangladesh