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Tariff set for power sale to Pakistan

New Delhi, Nov. 4: India has offered to sell 500 megawatt (MW) of electricity to power-deficient Pakistan at around Rs 7-8 per unit to be delivered at the Wagah-Attari border.

“India has proposed a tariff of Rs 7-8 for a unit of power, which is almost similar to the electricity tariff prevalent in that country. Further discussions on tariff and technicalities on wheeling out power will be held soon,” a senior power ministry official said.

On the Indian side, the Central Electricity Authority and Power Grid Corporation will be the nodal technical agencies, while Pakistan has assigned the job to National Transmission and Despatch Company and the chief engineering adviser.

Officials said there was a broad agreement that cross-border trading through HVDC (high voltage direct current) coupling — as is being done with Bangladesh — could be considered to ensure the independent operation of both the grids.

Lahore has complete transmission lines and grids, which are near the grid in Punjab. So, it will be economical to transfer power through Amritsar, officials said.

The project will require 45 km of 220kv transmission lines on both sides of the border — 25 km in India and 20 km in Pakistan.

Nisha Taneja, trade analyst with the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, said, “Improved economic relations would infuse confidence among the two neighbours. The South Asian nations cannot be isolated to the globalisation process and economic integration among them is the need of the hour.”

According to analysts, the move to offer electricity to Pakistan is a broader strategic initiative at a time India itself is facing power crunch.

“The anticipated peak shortage in the country would be 10.6 per cent this fiscal,” a report by the Central Electricity Authority has said.

The peak power shortage, defined as shortfall in generation capacity during the time of maximum consumption, will be close to 15,000MW.