The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) was created by the Bangladesh Water and Power Development Authority nearly 40 years ago. The BPDB provides power generation, transmission and distribution services, and has increased the country's generation capacity from 200 MW to 6,727 MW since its formation.
Today, just 49 percent of the people in Bangladesh have access to electricity. Per capita generation is only 236 kWh, the lowest in the region. The unstable grid causes frequent power outages while a shortage of natural gas and load shedding during peak hours only make the situation worse.
The present power demand is 6,000 MW, but the grid can only generate 4,500 to 4,750 MW due to the gas shortage and load shedding. Because electricity is crucial to economic growth and improved quality of living, the government has prepared several short- and long-term plans to ensure balanced development of power generation in the country.
While the government's long-term plan is to explore fuel diversification and to install an additional 15,000 MW of power generation capacity, several projects are in process to increase power generation capacity. Since January 2009, nearly 40 contracts have been signed to increase capacity by 4,504 MW using light diesel oil, natural gas or heavy fuel oil (HFO).
Among these projects is a fast-track, Quick Rental 100 MW, HFO Power Plant in Jhulda/Chittagong to supply power to the local grid. The investor, Dhaka-based Acorn Infrastructure Services Ltd. (AISL), signed a five-year rental agreement with BPDB and Caterpillar Power Generation Systems. Under the agreement, Caterpillar provided equipment and services for eight Cat® 16CM43 HFO-operated generator sets. Local Cat dealer, Bangla Cat, supported the project with onsite supervision and engineering services.
Capable of generating up to 14.4 MW of power, the Cat 16CM43 generator set's advanced design features integrated subsystems, long operating life, simplified maintenance, high efficiency and low emissions. The generator sets are driven by four-stroke cycle engines and are rated at 13.2 eMW.
In addition to the eight generator sets, AISL signed an engineering services agreement with Caterpillar to provide operation, training, maintenance and emergency repair. "We are here and ready to support our customer's needs," said Nazim Haque, CEO of Bangla Cat. "Our engineers not only provide parts servicing, they supply related equipment, maintenance tools and emergency services."
With the installation of the Cat generator sets, Chittagong's power generation capacity increased by more than 100 eMW, and the grid's stability has notably improved. "Caterpillar is proud to support the Bangladesh government's efforts to provide safe, reliable and efficient power generation. Electricity is critical for economic growth in the region and we consider the installation of this new facility as just the beginning of our future investment in Bangladesh," says Caterpillar Power Generation Systems Managing Director Mr. Clive E. Nickolay. "Our local dealer, BanglaCat, supplied excellent support for the power project."
Acorn Infrastructure Service Ltd.
Local power need
Eight Cat 16CM43 generator sets