Summit's Meghnaghat power plant started partial commercial operations on Wednesday.
The 337-megawatt dual-fuel combined cycle plant is now generating and selling up to 220MW of power using diesel to the Power Development Board.
The company began testing its 'simple cycle' unit in February, but it could not pass the reliability test in running its plant for seven days at a stretch at full capacity of 220MW. The plant's simple cycle power generator was tripping due to problems with fuel quality, officials said.
Summit overcame the fuel problem by filtering the diesel.
The project is a landmark for Summit, considering that the company completed the simple cycle part with local finance as international financiers did not feel confident about the project. Summit took $300 million loans from local banks and pumped its own funds into the large base-load power project.
However, DEG of Germany, FMO of the Netherlands and Standard Chartered Bank gave Summit a condition that if it could launch the simple cycle operation, they would invest $190 million to complete the project, helping Summit install the 'combined cycle' equipment. A good part of that fund will be used to repay the loans borrowed from the local banks.
A combined cycle plant uses technology to generate power from the heat created by a simple cycle operation and thus, saves on fuel costs. The combined cycle operation of the plant is expected to begin in October.
If the government can ensure gas for the plant by then, it will be able to save on fuel costs, as diesel is costlier than gas. The government is responsible for fuel supply.
Operating power plants since 1998, Summit built three rental power plants last year ahead of schedule. It additionally contributes 560MW of electricity from a dozen plants.