Saarc agrees on plan to harmonise energy trade

Saarc agrees on plan to harmonise energy trade

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Islamabad – Energy regulators of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) have agreed to have harmonisation of regulations, codes and standards of electricity grids for cross-border electricity trade in the region.
After a two-day meeting, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) of Pakistan reported on Friday that the regional regulators had an agreement on a plan of action on energy regulations.They agreed that harmonisation of regulations, codes and standards for electricity grids were of vital importance for cross-border electricity trade in the region for which the regional regulators would provide suggestions and proposals to the Saarc secretariat for further discussions in subsequent meetings of the regulators.
The regulators also agreed to ‘deliberate on regulatory issues relating to cross-border electricity trade with a view to harmonise the elements’ for which sharing of studies by international partners would be vital for resolving issues.
The meeting decided that the national power regulatory authorities of the Saarc states would meet twice a year under the nomenclature ‘Saarc Council of Experts of Energy Regulators (Electricity)’ to effectively follow up, monitor and implement the Saarc Energy Framework Cooperation Agreement (Electricity). Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission offered secretarial services for the proposed council. All member states would appoint two experts for the council by Oct 20, 2016.
The meeting also recommended that the regional energy forum on electricity may be formed under the Saarc umbrella in order to implement the Saarc Framework Agreement on Energy Cooperation.
It said the plan of action would an evolving document and as such may be reviewed from time-to-time, as and when necessary. The Saarc secretariat in consultation with member states would finalise the venue and date for next Saarc energy regulators meeting.
The member states agreed on Pakistan’s proposal to include in the Saarc Plan of Action on Energy Regulations (Electricity) matters relating to existing market structure and evolving structure to move to competitive market, benchmarking the performance of transmission and distribution entities and benchmarking efficiency and availability targets of generation facilities under a regulated environment.
The meeting was informed that Bhutan, Nepal and India have ratified the Saarc Framework Agreement. Other members were urged to ratify it as a priority before 19th Saarc Summit.
Delegates who attended the third Saarc energy regulators meeting included Mujtaba Yaseen, First secretary High Commission Afghanistan, Najmul Huda Deputy High Commissioner High Commission Bangladesh, Thukten Wangmo, Chief (Monitoring Division) from Bhutan Electricity Authority, Mr Raghuram First Secretary High Commission of India, Ahmed Mujabta, First Secretary Deputy Head of Mission High Commission of Maldives, Ambu Bhawani Karki, Member Electricity Tariff Fixation Commission of Nepal, C.N. Saliya W. Mathew, Chairman Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka and Garmini Hearath, Deputy Director General, Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka.
Nepra Chairman Tariq Saddozai stressed the need for cooperation to ensure development of efficient conventional and renewable energy resources, strengthening of related transmission systems and cross-border electricity trade for sustainable development of member states.
He said Pakistan was already importing 100-megawatt from Iran and CASA project would enable Afghanistan and Pakistan to import 1,300MW from Central Asian countries. Pakistan has also submitted a draft MoU to India on importing 1,200MW of electricity. DAWN – World News Report via EIN News

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