If American power producers made all of their power plants run at full tilt, they would generate about one thousand gigawatts of electricity. It took the U.S. a full century to get to that number. That’s too slow for developing countries like Bangladesh. Experts estimate that the world will need to build up four times the U.S. power generating capacity over the next 15 years to satisfy new demand. In case of Bangladesh, the growth will be even faster. The country must nearly triple electricity output in less than a decade from the 7,500 megawatts it has today to power its economy, which is currently expanding at 6 percent a year and speeding up.
Seeking Power: GE, whose technology already helps generate a quarter of Bangladesh’s electricity, will help add another 9 percent by supplying the country with two new advanced gas turbines.
Jeff Immelt, GE chairman and CEO, returned from Bangladesh last week. GE installed the country’s first steam turbine in 1970 and GE turbines and engines currently generate more than a quarter of its electricity. While in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, Immelt announced that GE would supply the country with two advanced gas turbines for a pair of new electricity plants scheduled to come online in 2014 and 2015. They will boost the country’s current power capacity by 9 percent. Immelt said that the two power stations will leverage GE’s technological expertise and help the government to “meet its objective and priorities that contribute to the overall economic development.”
What are those priorities? Bangladesh, with 152 million people the world’s eighth most populous nation that is adding residents at a 1.6 percent annual clip, sorely needs more electricity. Power is reaching only half of Bangladesh today and the country is facing 1.4 million megawatt deficit during periods of peak demand.
The new GE turbines will burn the country’s abundant natural gas. They are highly efficient, reliable, and produce low greenhouse gas emissions. They can also quickly adjust output and meet fluctuating electricity demand.
More power to that.