Valve hall of the 500 MW back-to-back HVDC system
In March 2011, the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Ltd. (PGCB) awarded Siemens the contract to connect the power supply networks between Bangladesh and India with a 500 MW back-to-back high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system. This turnkey project included engineering, civil works, delivery of all components, installation and commissioning of the complete HVDC system. On Dec. 4, 2013, the full transmission power capacity of 500 MW was achieved (enough power to light up about 180,000 homes). The system is capable of future expansion up to 1000 MW.
The first 175 MW of power flowed from India to Bangladesh in September 2013. This first electricity grid interconnection among SAARC countries with a 400 kV AC link between India and Bangladesh through a HVDC back-to-back station in Bangladesh was formally inaugurated by the Prime Ministers of both countries: Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Bangladesh and Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, India (via videoconference). The project was made possible under an India-Bangladesh power exchange program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
This monopole back-to-back HVDC system links India's eastern electrical grid to Bangladesh's western grid. The HVDC station in Bangladesh is connected to the country’s existing 230 kV grid. A new 400 kV alternating current high-voltage overhead line provides the cross-border connection to the 400 kV substation in India. This project also enables the power generation of Bangladesh from less efficient diesel power plants to be reduced, helping the country to lower emission levels.
India's state-run NTPC's power trading arms – VidyutVyapar Nigam Ltd and the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) – signed a government-to-government electricity purchase agreement for 250 MW last year that allows Bangladesh to buy their urgently needed power at a competitive rate. For the remaining 250 MW, Bangladesh signed another power purchase agreement with PTC India Ltd. (formerly known as Power Trading Corporation of India Limited) in 2013.The HVDC station in Bangladesh has been identified as part of this agreement allowing a safe and reliable connection of the power grids of both countries.