Ministers of India and Bhutan signed agreements July 28 for long-term cooperation on hydropower development and for India’s purchase of power from the 1,020-MW Tala hydroelectric project being built in Bhutan with Indian assistance.
During a visit to New Delhi by Bhutan Crown Prince Trongsa Penlop Jigme Khesar Namyel Wangchuk, the neighboring nations agreed to facilitate, encourage, and promote the development and construction of hydropower projects and associated transmission systems.
They also agreed to facilitate power trade between the two countries and to involve both public and private sector participation. India agreed to import a minimum of 5,000 MW of electricity from Bhutan by 2020. The agreements are valid for 60 years with options for extension by mutual consent.
India to buy Tala power for 35 years
The agreements also call for India to purchase power for 35 years from the Tala project, with a first-year tariff of 1.80 rupees (3.9 US cents) per kilowatt-hour. A statement by India’s Ministry of Power noted the project is expected to be commissioned �very soon.�
Under the agreements, signed by India Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Bhutan Trade and Industry Minister Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba, the nations are to set up a joint group to facilitate identification of hydro projects, preparation of detailed project reports, and selection of agencies for speedy implementation.
�For construction and operation of hydro projects in Bhutan by public sector and government-owned agencies, India shall facilitate availing of facilities including financing from financial institutions in India and deployment of human resources as may be desired by Bhutan,� the India Power Ministry said.