16 gates of Kaptai Power Plant opened as water increases


Staff Correspondent

The 16 gates of Kaptai Hydroelectric Power plant have been opened on Tuesday evening last as water increased in the Kaptai Lake due to incessant rainfall and onrush of water from upstream.

The excessive water of the lake is falling in the Karnaphuli River.

Power Plant Manager Engineer ATM Abduzzaher admitted the rise in water and letting the water to fall in the Karnaphuli River.

It is known, the water level of the lake is now 106.38 feet mean sea-level (MSL).

Power Station control room sources said the Kaptai Lake can contain highest 109 feet water. If the water level rises in this rate, it may cross danger mark. So, to protect the dyke, the authority took the decision to open the gates.

Sources said, due to mechanical error, four generators among five are functioning now. At least 170-megawatt electricity is being produced from the four generators, and the power is totally supplied to the national grid.

The power generation project was inaugurated in early 1962, with two of its three planned generators putting 80 MW of electricity into the national power grid.

The third generator of 50 MW started power generation in January 1982. A feasibility study revealed that the reservoir had a 25% higher capacity than what was originally computed.  The operating data also revealed a higher value of inflow than had initially been calculated.

In order to exploit this additional potential, two more generators having 50 MW capacity each was installed in 1988.  The power available from this dam has accelerated the establishment and expansion of industries in Bangladesh and has resulted in an appreciable saving in foreign exchange required for the import of manufactured goods.

The power generated also permits pumping of water to achieve widespread irrigation and drainage.