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Power minister moots SAARC energy grid

Mar 7, 2007 - McClatchy-Tribune Business News Formerly Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News - The Times of India

NEW DELHI -- Power minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday made an effort to energise economic cooperation among SAARC countries by proposing to bind them together through a network of transnational energy lifelines -- from oil and gas pipelines to interconnecting power transmission lines.

Proposing the concept of an 'Energy Ring' at the South Asia Energy Dialogue, which will set the energy agenda for the forthcoming SAARC summit, Shinde said energy lines would promote trading in electricity, gas and oil among the member-countries. He said power production varies in different regions in different seasons when some areas are surplus. Interconnectivity will help bridge gaps.

Pointing out that India already has grid interconnection with Nepal and Bhutan and technical studies are underway regarding feasibility of grid interconnections with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, he appealed that no "unreasonable" restriction may be imposed on such lifelines that will hinder objective of providing power to all in the region.

Shinde said the challenge is to meet the energy demand through safe, clean and convenient forms of energy at an affordable cost in a technically efficient, economically viable and environmentally sustainable manner.