China may wrest power projects away from India in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, thwarting its bid to exert economic and strategic influence in the neighbourhood by developing infrastructure.
One such instance is Indian state-run power utility NTPC Ltd’s stalled plan to build a 500 megawatts (MW) plant in Sri Lanka. The island state is now said to favour a Chinese tie-up for the project.
Also uncertain is NTPC’s plan to set up coal-based power projects in Bangladesh. While NTPC may go ahead with the Khulna project having a final capacity of 2,640MW, the Chinese are keen to develop the 1,320MW Chittagong project.
India and China are in a race for the world’s resources as they seek to fuel economic growth. Indian efforts to step up energy diplomacy by engaging with Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka aren’t having the desired result though. China is becoming increasingly influential by wielding its growing economic might without being constrained by the need to consider its own local constituents.