The government of Bangladesh has signed a $217 million financing agreement with the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) to upgrade a unit in the Ghorashal power station.

The Ghorashal Unit 4 Repowering project will transform a gas-fired simple cycle unit that is currently generating 170 MW into a 409 MW combined cycle power plant.

The overall efficiency of the power plant will rise from 30 per cent to 54 per cent thanks to the conversion, the World Bank said in a statement.

"Bangladesh can grow its economy much faster and reduce poverty significantly if its energy infrastructure can meet the demand for reliable, low-cost electricity," said Rajashree Paralkar, World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh. "The project will increase the efficiency in gas utilization of an existing unit, while adding new generation capacity to address the country’s severe power needs."

The project will also reduce the specific fuel consumption per GWh by 44 per cent and lower greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the project will provide capacity building and institutional support to the Bangladesh Power Development Board.

"The government has prioritised improving the efficiency of gas-based power plants, given the shortages in natural gas production," says Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division, government of Bangladesh. "The repowering of the Ghorashal Unit 4 will quickly add new generation capacity without adding major infrastructure costs for fuel supply."