Like many rapidly developing countries, Bangladesh needs more reliable and affordable electricity to power its growth. That’s why the South Asian country is racing to massively increase its power-generation capacity, adding 11,600 megawatts to reach 24,000 megawatts by 2021, according to the Bangladesh Power Development Board.
GE is now giving that plan a boost. The company, which already has 37 turbines in the country capable of generating 2,200 megawatts, said it would develop a new 600-megawatt combined-cycle power plant near Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital. The plant will use GE Power’s 9HA gas turbine as well as a steam turbine and a generator to produce electricity. When it comes online in 2021, the power station will generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 700,000 local homes. “We are confident that GE’s HA gas turbines will be a significant value add to the power ecosystem in Bangladesh, enabling people to have easy access to affordable, flexible, and cleaner electricity,” said Deepesh Nanda, CEO for Gas Power Systems in GE South Asia.
The plant-development deal is valued at $350 million.
GE deployed the first HA turbine in 2016. As the most advanced gas turbines in GE’s portfolio, the machines are already powering the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plants. A European plant achieved a 62.22 percent combined-cycle net efficiency in 2016, a feat that earned a world record. A different plant in Japan scored a 63.08 percent combined-cycle gross efficiency earlier this year.
The HA turbines, which rely on the latest engineering and technologies — including designs originally developed for jet engines — can go from zero to full throttle in less than half an hour, allowing plant operators to quickly respond to changing demand.
Since the HA launched, GE has received orders for more than 80 turbines from customers around the world; 30 of them are already generating electricity. As of October 2018, they have accumulated more than 185,000 fired hours of operation.