United Ashugonj Energy Ltd starts power generation

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The country’s first modular combined cycle power plant commissioned by United Ashugonj Energy Ltd (UAEL) with the generation capacity of 200 MW+ 10 per cent started operation from May 7 ahead of the scheduled time by 12 days.
The company- a subsidiary of United Energy Company Ltd (UECL) belongs to United Group of industries.
The United Ashugonj Energy Ltd is a joint venture with 29 per cent share of the government. But the government intent to off-load its share to the private partner UAEL in due course of time. This is a new trend unlike the earlier model of taking over the ownership by the government from the private partners.
Managing director Moinuddin Hasan Rashid of the United Ashuganj Energy Limited made the disclosure while talking with The Week Holiday and claimed his company was able to take any challenge to commission big power plants in Bangladesh within any stipulated time.
He said the UAEL started building the giant power plant in 2007 and did not look back to any trouble until it completed the plant and engaged in production under build, own and operate (BOO) basis ahead of the schedule time.
At present Ashuganj Power Station Company Ltd. (APSCL) one of the largest power station complexes of the country is the joint venture partner on behalf of the government.
Mohiuddin said the United Group participated in the tender bid and on getting the contract they set up the new company United Ashuganj Energy Limited (UAEL) to build the plant. The combined modular system has the flexibility to generate more power which is indicated by 200 MW+10 percent. Capacity.
The new company was able to meet the government’s strict guidelines for efficiency in implementing power plant with a flexible modular co-generation system.  The combined cycle power plants can operate with both heavy fuel as well as gas as and when it so requires.
The government took up the project at a time when the country was reling under heavy load shedding, Moinuddin said adding that “The new Greenfield 200 ±10 per cent modular power plant was a test case of the Government” and his company was able to successfully face the test.
He said, the government involved the private sector participation to ensure quick development of the power plant and its timely completion. The company did it, he said.
It may be mentioned here that UAEL is the first joint venture company of Bangladesh implementing a project where the private sector is getting the golden opportunity to work hand in hand with the public sector.
APSCL, on behalf of the government, and UECL, on behalf of the private sector, are the shareholders of the company.
Together with the equipment suppliers and the EPC Contractor’s design team, UAEL designed the project to have an unprecedented combination of flexibility and efficiency making this new plant to be a model case in the country’s power sector.
At present efficiency rate in many age-old power plants varies from 22 per cent to 28 per cent and poor efficiency means greater fuel consumption, lower power generation, higher emission and higher unit cost of electricity.
The new plant has a thermal efficiency of around 47 percent to claim a milestone achievement in the power sector. The plant comprises of 20 units of Wärtsilä’s 20V34SG gas engines, each producing about 9.73 MW.
“Designing the power plant itself was a very big challenge. Engineering cooperation between all parties made possible meeting all technical demands to make it environment friendly with reduced emissions” commented Rear Admiral Bazlur Rahman (Retd.), Director, UAEL.
Moreover, meeting the flexibility demands of the Bangladeshi power grid, which is vulnerable to extreme erratic load pattern due to weather and seasonal irritation, the plant’s modular setup allows operators to quickly change the output levels by changing the number of generators in use. And it will do so while maintaining the same level of efficiency all the way down to 30 percent power output.
UAEL director, Faridur Rahman Khan said, “In a developing economy like Bangladesh where you will always have erratic demand for electricity use, you have to have these kinds of modular plants which can ramp production up and down within minutes. Absolutely, this is going to be the future.”
All EPC works of the project were carried out by Neptune Commercial Ltd. (NCL), a sister concern of United Enterprises & Co. Ltd.
The sponsor company UECL is arranging foreign financing for the project where World Bank is funding part of the debt portion from its IPFF fund and the remaining part will be funded by a consortium of lenders comprising of DEG, IFC and Finnvera (ECA) with Standard Chartered as the lead arranger.

Source: Weekly Holiday

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