Thimphu: India and Bhutan today signed an agreement for the development of joint hydropower projects in a bid to further strengthen their bilateral strategic partnership.
The framework "Inter-Governmental Agreement" between Bhutan and India for the development of Joint Venture Hydropower Projects through the Public Sector Undertakings of the two governments was inked here.
"Hydropower cooperation with Bhutan is a classic example of win-win cooperation, providing clean electricity to India, generating export revenues for Bhutan, and further strengthening our bilateral economic linkages," a Ministry of External Affairs statement said.
The agreement was signed by P K Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Power, from the Indian side and Sonam Tshering, Bhutan`s Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The Inter-Governmental agreement signed today provides the framework for implementing four hydro-electric projects (HEPs) - 600 MW Kholongchu project, 180 MW Bunakha project (with 230 MW downstream benefit from Tala, Chukha and Wangchu HEPs), 570 MW Wangchu project and 770 MW Chamkarchu project - totalling 2120 MW.
The implementation of the projects is subject to completion of the due process of appraisal of their detailed project reports including techno-economic viability.
Three HEPs totaling 1416 MW - the 336 MW Chukha project, the 60 MW Kurichu project and the 1020 MW Tala project - are already operational in Bhutan and are supplying electricity to India.
Three more projects totaling 2940 MW - the 1200 MW Punatsangchu-I project, the 1020 MW Punatsangchu-II project and the 720 MW Mangdehchu project - are under construction, and are scheduled to be commissioned by 2018.
The signing of the Inter-Governmental Agreement will strengthen bilateral hydropower cooperation and further cement India`s strategic partnership with Bhutan, the statement said.