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‘Govt using best tech in power sector’

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Staff Reporter State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid on Monday said that the government is using the best technology equipment ever in power sector keeping in mind the best nations' practice. "We're using the best of the technology in power sector to make sure the best use of public money", he said while speaking at a contract signing ceremony at Biduyt Bhaban in the city. State-owned Power Development Board (PDB) signed a contract with a Spanish-South Korean joint venture firm to implement its 400 MW Bibiyana South combined cycle power plant project. Isolux Ingenieria of Spain and Samsung C& T Corporation of South Korea have formed a joint venture to work as an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project, valued at US$ 288.26 million. The function was also addressed by Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) chairman AR Khan, power secretary Monoar Islam and PDB Chairman Abduhu Ruhullah. The state minister urged the EPC contractor to execute the project ensuring highest standard and quality. He said that it is a great success and matter of pride that PDB is implementing the project with its own funds. Appreciating the PDB's prompt work in the project, he said the organization has set an example by completing the tender process within 3 months. PDB chairman Ruhullah said his organization has maintained the highest levels of transparency in the tender process of the Bibiyana power project. The power secretary said the government would not compromise on the standard and quality of the project. The PDB officials hope the gas-fired combined cycle power plant’s net generation capacity will be 383.510 MW, through its combination of simple cycle and combined cycle units. Of these, the plant’s simple cycle unit will have 252.264 MW capacity, while the combined cycle unit will be of 131.246 MW. The project will consume 62.55 MMSFD gas which will be supplied from the Bibiyana gas field. Electricity production cost in the project will be Tk 1.13 kilowatt per hour (kWh) considering the plant factor at 85 percent. The project’s lifetime has been fixed to be 25 years. Power Ministry officials said the EPC contractor will supply and install the simple cycle unit within 24 months while it will set up the combined cycle unit in 30 months from the date of signing the contract. The plant will be installed on 14.54 acres of land. It is expected that the project’s simple cycle unit will commence generation of electricity for the national grid in December 2016, and the combined cycle unit in 2017. Officials said the same EPC contractor has been working for installing an identical capacity Bibiyana-2 project. The project’s gas turbine, steam turbine, generator and other main equipment will come from Germany, Belgium, USA, Spain and China. The plant’s energy efficiency is expected to be 53 percent. The Bibiyana South project’s implementation process started 4-5 years back and initially, it was named as Bibiyana-1 and awarded to local power conglomerate Summit Group, to implement as an independent power producer (IPP) plant. But due to fund constraints and other complications, Summit could not implement the project. Finally, the government terminated the contract with Summit and renamed it as Bibiyana South Power Plant. PDB again invited tenders for the project in February this year. The Spanish-Korean JV was selected and the Cabinet Purchase Committee approved the EPC contractor’s proposal in July 15 this year. After 5 months, the PDB signed the final contract with the joint venture (JV) firm to implement the project.