Power secretary: Bangladesh needs global giants’ collaboration for sustainable power sector

Originally posted in Dhaka Tribune on 9 May 2023

Power secretary Md Habibur Rahman has sought the leading global companies’ collaboration with the Bangladesh power sector for its sustainable development.

“Switching to hydrogen fuel for power generation in the future is one example, where global companies like GE, having tremendous experience in the field, can collaborate with us,” he said while addressing a seminar titled Powering Smart Bangladesh at a city hotel on Tuesday.

American company GE (General Electric) hosted the seminar, which was also addressed by Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) chairman Mahbubur Rahman, and chief executive officer of GE Gas Power South Asia, Deepesh Nanda.

The power secretary said Bangladesh will also welcome the tested technologies in the power and energy sector to reduce carbon emission.

“We are keen to invest in technologies that are already tested and can help Bangladesh to reduce carbon emissions quickly,” he said.

He noted that the government is prioritizing the introduction of policy interventions that can support the development of clean energy infrastructure in Bangladesh and contribute towards economic growth of the country by effectively meeting the power demand in the future.

The central theme of the seminar was leading a new era of clean energy by focusing on GE’s advanced gas turbine technology, which is capable of burning blends of hydrogen and natural gas, to lead the energy transition in Bangladesh and decarbonise it further.

It was informed in the event that GE has more than 120 gas turbines globally that are running on between 5% (by volume) and 100% hydrogen, and have accumulated more than 8.5 million operating hours.

In a move to lead the global energy transition, GE announced in 2022 the spin-off of GE Vernova as a purpose-built business, that highlights the company’s commitment to sustainability and elevating its position as a key player in the energy industry that empowers climate action in all markets.

BPDB chairman Mahbubur Rahman said Bangladesh is already a power surplus nation with 100% coverage of electricity, and now our focus is to supply reliable electricity in an uninterrupted manner.

“We are deploying the latest technologies and digital solutions to make the power infrastructure more robust, and I see GE Vernova, a new company, through its comprehensive portfolio, playing a crucial role in taking this journey forward”, he said.

“GE Vernova can also help us in meeting the Smart Bangladesh Vision in the future,” he added.

GE Gas Power South Asia CEO Deepesh Nanda said his company remains committed to leading a new era of clean energy in Bangladesh.

“Today, GE’s technology is powering multiple power plants in the country and our power services are helping the power plant owners to use the fuel efficiently while generating electricity at lower cost”, he said.

“GE will continue to offer a comprehensive portfolio of powering solutions distinguished by our commitment to quality, productivity, cost effectiveness and safety standards.”

He said as Bangladesh diversifies its energy mix, GE’s hybrid power solutions can create an ecosystem in Bangladesh to supply electricity on round-the-clock basis in future.

Managing Director of Ashuganj Power Station Company Ltd Sazzadur Rahman, Director General of Power Cell Mohammad Hossain, Global Hydrogen Value Chain Leader, GE Power Jeffrey Goldmeer also spoke at the event.