Bhutan and India pave way for enhanced energy cooperation

In a Joint Vision Statement on the Bhutan-India energy partnership issued last evening, the two Prime Ministers agreed that the Bhutan-India energy partnership has the potential to benefit both countries. According to the Joint Vision Statement, this can be achieved by enhancing energy security, strengthening the economies, generating employment, enhancing export earnings, and contributing to further development of industrial and financial capacities. The two sides also agreed that there are unprecedented opportunities to further strengthen this mutually beneficial bilateral clean energy partnership, including through the development of new energy projects and trade in electricity.

According to the Joint Vision Statement, the two Prime Ministers agreed to engage in the development of new energy projects in the fields of hydropower, solar, and green hydrogen, including through the participation of Indian entities as strategic partners.

Among other discussions, the two Prime Ministers also agreed that the government of India will facilitate necessary access to financing from financial institutions in India as well as the market for power sale for new and upcoming hydro-power projects in Bhutan.

In addition, the two sides agreed that power exchange between the two countries shall continue to play an important role in ensuring energy security in the region. In this regard, market access to Bhutanese power producers will be facilitated following applicable domestic regulations and procedures, through mutually agreed arrangements and delivery points.

The Joint Vision Statement also highlights that given the evolving energy markets, the two sides will hold regular consultations to enable investments in energy projects of Bhutan, and to ensure seamless cross-border trade in electricity.

Besides agreeing to work towards greater sub-regional energy cooperation for increased inter-linkages between the economies, the two sides also agreed to strengthen energy cooperation in the field of energy efficiency and energy conservation through capacity development, information exchange on policies and technologies and research and development on energy-efficient technologies.

Both Prime Ministers agreed to expedite the movement on projects and initiatives based on the Joint Vision Statement for mutual benefit.

According to the Joint Vision Statement, building on the success of the 720 MW Mangdechhu Hydro-electric Project, the two leaders look forward to commissioning the 1,020 MW Punastangchhu II hydroelectric project this year. In addition, both sides have welcomed the positive expert-level discussions on a technically sound and cost-effective way forward for the 1,200 MW Punatsangchhu-I Hydroelectric project.

Phub Gyem

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