GE’s recent acquisition of Alstom’s Power & Grid businesses gives the company a more robust global business presence at a time when the world is expected to invest a projected $17 trillion in power and grid technologies over the next 20 years to help develop more sustainable modern economies and improve the quality of life for the world’s population.
With growing energy demands highlighting the need to install new generation capacity, including upgrading or replacing older, less efficient fossil fuel plants—combined with increasingly strict global emission-reduction standards—operators are seeking energy technology solutions and services to help them provide reliable, lower-cost supplies of electricity.
Following the November 2015 completion of the acquisition, GE’s Power Services business—the new global organization created by combining GE and Alstom’s power generation services teams—now has the enhanced total plant solutions capabilities needed to become a more comprehensive, local services provider, including for equipment from non-GE and Alstom suppliers, thus offering vital added value to utility and industrial power plant operators around the world.
By integrating Alstom’s power generation assets with GE’s existing portfolio, the Power Services team gains even stronger local capabilities to deliver more robust services solutions in China, India and Europe, which complements GE’s strengths in the Middle East, North America and Africa. Globally, Power Services has employees in over 150 countries and operates more than 50 repair shops in 25 countries. The business also operates a network of eight monitoring and diagnostic centers. Combined, these vast resources play a vital role in giving Power Services a greater global reach coupled with enhanced local/regional services capabilities to support the business priorities of power providers around the world.
Case in point: In February 2016, GE announced it secured an order valued at $87 million to upgrade three Alstom GT13E2 gas turbines with its legacy Alstom upgrade MXL2 solutions at Centrica’s South Humber Bank combined-cycle power plant in North East Lincolnshire. The project showcases the value of GE’s expanded services capabilities to help U.K. utilities increase the efficiency of their natural gas power plants to remain competitive in the country’s ever-changing power industry.
This agreement with Centrica is one in a series of recent post-acquisition announcements that illustrates how GE is positioned to deliver more complete gas and steam plant asset technology and services for combined cycle power plants and other types of generation facilities. With technologies and expertise that now cross all major plant assets, and numerous OEM brands, the company can develop solutions that offer operators better performance and value at both the plant and fleet levels. Combined with the new services portfolio for other gas turbine OEMs, these capabilities position GE to service and support equipment supplied by other companies including Siemens and Mitsubishi. Overall power plant efficiency and reliability is a product of total plant design, not just optimizing individual components.
GE and Alstom both had separate track records of developing technology to continually upgrade existing plants that will continue under GE’s Power Services. For example, GE’s Advanced Gas Path (AGP) upgrade technology, which provides customers with increased output capability, lower fuel consumption and lower lifecycle maintenance costs, was originally introduced for 7F gas turbine-powered plants. The company has expanded its AGP upgrade solution it into its 9F and 9E gas turbine fleets. GE will continue to expand these and other solutions to the company’s expanded portfolio of combined gas technology offerings.
For example, as a leading digital industrial company, GE has invested more than $1 billion in software and data analytics to reduce downtime and improve performance of operators’ power plants. Industrial Internet capabilities are positioning plant and fleet operators to harness and monetize their data in ways like never before. New software solutions can help operators potentially save millions of dollars by giving them greater real-time awareness of their equipment condition and enhanced operational readiness.
GE will bring additional analytic capabilities to the Alstom fleet to help operators run their plants more efficiently, dynamically and profitably.
Power Services also will support operators with spare parts, repairs, upgrades and multi-year agreements for all existing Alstom and GE products, regardless of technology, including Alstom GT13E2, GT24, and GT26 gas turbines.
For example, in addition to the Centrica South Humber station MXL2 upgrade project, GE previously announced in November 2015 it had secured its first post-acquisition GT13E2 MXL2 gas turbine upgrade order in Asia at a combined-cycle power plant in Vietnam.
The company will upgrade four GT13E2 gas turbines with MXL2 upgrade packages for state-owned enterprise EVN Power Generation Corporation 3 at the Phu My power complex in Vietnam.
The combination of GE and Alstom’s power generation services teams represents more than 230 years of combined experience in solving the energy industry’s biggest challenges. Showcasing its newly expanded predictive maintenance portfolio and steam generator expertise, GE recently signed an agreement to deploy advanced robotic inspection tools to inspect utility Alinta Energy’s gas-fired power plants in Australia and New Zealand. Recognized among the industry’s best practices, GE’s DIRIS* and TurboRotoscan inspection systems will alert Alinta Energy to potential generator issues and give the utility time to evaluate its options. The project was developed through GE’s legacy Alstom’s power generation business, which GE acquired in 2015.
Offering another example in the same region, GE’s Asia Pacific regional services supply chain includes the GE Keppel Energy Services facility in Singapore, one of the oldest repair and overhaul centers in Asia and a 50-50 joint venture between GE and Singapore-based Keppel Corp. The facility can support both GE and non-GE supplied generating equipment, which means the site could play an even greater support role for more projects in the region involving other OEM equipment.
The service center’s enhanced role represents just one of the countless examples of how utilities and industrial power plant operators around the world stand to benefit from the synergies of GE’s Alstom Power acquisition.
Joe Anis is vice president, commercial, for GE’s Power Services business based in Baden, Switzerland. GE’s Power Services Is the company’s largest industrial services business and operates in more than 150 countries