Tag Archive | "GE"

Alstom CEO says GE deal will save jobs

Alstom’s chief executive says the French heavy engineering firm’s agreement to sell off most of its power generation business to U.S. rival General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) will save jobs and protect France’s national interests.

The $17 billion deal was agreed over the weekend after weeks of international negotiations that reached the highest levels of French politics. The government was worried that the GE takeover would cause layoffs and hand foreign owners too much influence over a major industrial player – especially one like Alstom, which makes power plant equipment and pioneered TGV high-speed trains.

Alstom CEO Patrick Kron said Monday on Europe-1 radio that the deal with GE “is a combination of Alstom’s qualities and GE’s economic strength.”

After the deal is completed, Kron will be left running the company’s train, tram and railway signaling business, which accounts for around a quarter of the group’s total sales and operating profit. GE will take over Alstom’s money-spinning gas turbine business, while the two companies keep equal stakes in the small renewable energy and power grid businesses.

The French state will also buy a stake in the new rump Alstom from construction giant Bouygues SA.

Kron and GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt will visit an Alstom plant on Tuesday to talk with workers about the deal, which still needs final approval by regulators and workers’ representatives. Immelt has come to France several times to meet with government officials since GE first made its takeover bid in April.

Alstom SA’s board approved GE’s offer on Saturday, after GE promised to create jobs and improved its offer, and the government withdrew its long-held opposition. Germany’s Siemens and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries had presented a rival combined offer but failed to win over Alstom’s board.

For GE, the deal is part of its new focus on building and servicing industrial equipment such as aircraft engines, power-plant turbines and oil and gas drilling equipment. The U.S. company sold its remaining interest in NBC Universal last year as part of the shift.

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GE chief says high-efficiency 9HA gas turbine technology fit for Europe

John Lammas, GE Vice President Thermal Engineering says that high-efficiency 9HA gas turbine technology should prove to be an appropriate solution for Europe, once market design takes into account the need for more secure, flexible gas-fired power to combat the volatility of renewables.

GE together with Toshiba announced a fresh order for the latest in its H-Class high efficiency combined cycle gas turbine technology this week requested by Hokkaido Electric Power. Although an Asian introduction Lammas sees there being a future point when the technology is increasingly relevant to Europe.Much of the content of Tuesday’s key note speeches at the POWER-GEN Europe event in Cologne, Germany centred on the need for a new market design aimed at assisting gas-fired power’s role in energy security for the bloc. Features inherent to the high-efficiency 9HA Gas Turbine destined for the Ishikariwan Shinko Power Plant Unit 1, HEPCO’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled thermal power plant in Japan, look an ideal fit for Europe’s needs should a new design come into being.

“I see a situation in Europe where there is this great penetration of renewables and you need something that can respond when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing an I think that gas turbines are part of that solution,” Lammas told Power Engineering Internationalat the POWER-GEN Europe event. “It probably won’t be totally base load but you need flexibility which is another element that we are building into these machines; it’s that ability to get to full gas turbine output in approximately ten minutes and full plant in less than 30 minutes, which allows it to work in harmony with the renewables so we think long term there is definitely a future for these sorts of machines in Europe.”

The combined-cycle thermal power generation system combines GE’s latest high-efficiency 9HA Gas Turbine with Toshiba’s most-advanced steam turbine. Toshiba will be the prime contractor for the Hokkaido project. The gas turbine combined-cycle system ordered by HEPCO is expected to achieve a thermal efficiency of 62 per cent, the world’s highest1, at the lower heating value. The plant will have an output capacity of 569.4 MW and construction is expected to start in October 2015.

Lammas anticipates a worldwide demand for the newest in H-class. “Certainly there is a trend in the industry towards the larger machines to get the CAPEX advantage at the plant level and then high efficiency particularly where gas prices are high; around the world this is a trend we are seeing. The machine we are building is greater than 61 per cent. Obviously as we test the machine we will be able to potentially improve that efficiency rating but it brings value from both the CAPEX element and the operational cost as well.

Brian Gutknecht, Vice President Thermal Engineering at GE told the POWER-GEN Europe show newspaper that there was another key advantage to their latest offering. “Through this plant we offer the lowest life cycle cost of electricity. Compared to prior F-Class technology it’s about a 5 per cent reduction in cost of electricity that would translate to $21m per year of net savings at the life cycle value; that would be for a 9HA02 plant running at about 6000 hours a year. So balancing the higher performace with low maintenance costs as well.”

Posted in Renewable EnergyComments (0)

GE tries alternative approach to securing $17bn Alstom deal

GE is attempting to explore other avenues in order to facilitate a final deal on Alstom and is in early-stage talks with nuclear-plant maker Areva SA (AREVA) and other French companies about asset sales or partnerships.

That’s according to a report in Bloomberg, which quotes unnamed insiders close to the negotiations as saying that the management at GE are potentially looking at selling some assets in order to win over the French government.

The US company is exploring concessions, including entering ventures in areas from nuclear power to wind-turbines to rail signalling, while it seeks clarification on what would appease the state, they said.

French companies have been contacting GE in anticipation of the government asking for asset sales or partnerships before approving the deal, though GE would prefer not to sell anything, a person said.

GE chief executive Jeff Immelt wrote to President Hollande pledging readiness to work with the state, Areva and EDF to protect the nuclear sector and preserve France’s exports. He also said GE would study potential French bids for Alstom (Euronext: ALO) onshore and offshore wind business, and welcome local investors in the capital of Alstom’s unit that makes turbines for dams.

Meanwhile Siemens AG (SIE) is weighing a possible counterbid for Alstom’s thermal, renewables and grid operations, which make and service products from gas turbines to power transmission equipment. The Germany-based company may decide as early as this week on an improved offer, having examined Alstom’s books. They are also said to be lining up a more attractive offer than initially made.

Areva, the world’s biggest reactor-fuel supplier, may be at the centre of any resolution for GE. For Areva, which is merging its unprofitable offshore wind turbine business with Spain’s Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA to share costs, buying Alstom’s offshore wind business would eliminate a rival that was selected by Electricite de France SA for a 2 billion-euro ($2.7 billion) contract to supply three wind farms in the country.

If that deal goes through Areva may opt to halt development of Alstom’s 6 MW offshore wind turbine, which has no gearbox, in parallel with its own 5-MW and 8 MW turbines using a gearbox to increase rotation speed and yield. That would also have an impact on plants and supply chains that Areva and Alstom both have pledged to build in France to win offshore wind tenders held by the state.

The government, EDF and Areva want to make sure that GE will continue to provide adequate maintenance services for Alstom’s steam turbines used in the non-nuclear part of France’s 58 atomic reactors, people familiar with the matter said. They also want to make sure that GE won’t block export of these turbines when French nuclear companies team up to bid for tenders abroad, they said.

Montebourg is pushing GE to sell its locomotive division to Alstom to strengthen the French company’s transport business, but insiders say the US company will not be prepared to go to those lengths to win the bid.

Posted in Nuclear Energy, Wind EnergyComments (0)

GE to supply 32 wind turbines in Brazil

GE is to supply 32 of its 2.2-107 wind turbines for a Brazilian project, the company has announced.

The order came from Brazilian power asset developer and operator Omega Energia, which is to build a wind farm in the country’s Piaui region.

As part of the contract, GE will provide operations and maintenance on the 32 turbines for 10 years.

This is the first order for the new turbine model, which GE described as an evolution of its 1.5 MW series. It is well suited to Brazil’s wind climate, the company added.

“The 2.2-107 wind turbine provides a 12 per cent increase in capacity factor and a 33 per cent increase in power output over GE’s current offering while continuing to provide the reliability and efficiency of GE’s wind turbines. We are thrilled to launch a new product again in Brazil,” said Jean-Claude Robert, general manager of Latin America for GE’s renewable energy business.

“This new contract demonstrates that the industry recognizes our commitment to our customers and our outstanding execution capabilities in Brazil,” he added.

GE employs over 8500 people in Brazil, and in September 2013 announced the installation of its 500th wind turbine in the country. The company has operations in Bahia, São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro.

Posted in Wind EnergyComments (0)


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