The Financial Express

Bangladesh a big market for GE

US giant's chief tells the FE

| Updated: June 30, 2018 10:23:58

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Chuck Nugent Chuck Nugent

Bangladesh is among the most exciting markets for US conglomerate GE [General Electric] in South Asia.

It is contributing considerably to providing reliable, efficient electricity to millions of homes here.

Chuck Nugent, GE president and CEO (Gas Power Systems), said this to the FE in an exclusive interview.

"Today, GE has an installed base of 37 gas turbines generating about 2,200 megawatt (MW) of electricity in Bangladesh," he said.

Mr Nugent was interviewed during a visit to GE's M&D (monitoring and diagnostic) centre and gas turbine manufacturing facility in Atlanta and Greenville.

GE's Gas Power Systems has more than 50 per cent of market share in the equipment space in Bangladesh.

It has won all the new equipment orders in the last three years, according to the data revealed by McCOY in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

GE technologies have prospects in Bangladesh from Versatile 6B's (44MW in simple cycle) to mobile power plants like TM 2500 (32MW at 30° Celsius hot day performance), said Mr Nugent.

It can provide highly reliable E-class (132MW-210MW simple cycle output and over 55 per cent combined cycle efficiency) and F-class (288MW-314MW simple cycle output and over 60 per cent combined cycle efficiency).

It has the world's most efficient and most powerful gas turbines like 9HA (446MW-557MW in simple cycle and more than 64 per cent efficiency in combined cycle).

Mr Nugent said The GE is providing the advanced gas turbine technology to the customers in Bangladesh.

It is also making strategic equity investments in key power projects, he told this correspondent.

"This gives confidence to the IPP (independent power producer) customers in Bangladesh to bid for new power projects," said the GE's top executive.

The GE has a huge customer base here, including state-run power generation companies and IPPs like Summit Power, Max Power and Unique Group, he added.

"We've partnered with Bangladesh Power Development Board in power projects in Fenchuganj, Shahjibazar, Sylhet, Syedpur, Bhola, Khulna and Ghorashal."

"We've supplied world-class gas turbines to run these power plants," Mr Nugent told the FE.

About joint venture with private-sector giant Summit, he said, "Our partnership with Summit Power started in 2012 with Meghnaghat (341MW) power project."

"Therefore, we extended our partnership to Bibiyana II (340 MW) power project," Mr Nugent went on saying.

GE and Summit have used their expertise to set up a 590MW combined cycle power plant in Meghnaghat-II, said the GE's top executive.

It will run on the GE's most efficient and powerful 9HA gas turbine, he mentioned.

The multinational also has an equity share in the power project with Summit, Mr Nugent added.

The turbines run on multiple fuel types like natural gas, propane, butane, carbon dioxide, ethane, nitrogen and various liquid fuels, covering almost the entire fuel spectrum.

The GE is working very closely with the customers to deeply assess each market and deploying unique strategies to keep winning, he added.

In any scheme, the cost of GE technologies depends on factors like structure of the project, bidding requirements, financing structure and output required.

As renewable energy takes over the world, Mr Nugent said, there will be an equivalent demand to support this infirm form of energy at the grid level.

Due to LNG [liquefied natural gas] glut in the global market, it makes sense for the countries to invest more in the cleaner gas-based power, Mr Nugent added.

In future, the GE aspires to remain a primary supplier of advanced gas turbine technology and equipment in Bangladesh, he concluded.

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