GE (NYSE: GE) and Toshiba (TOKYO: 6502) today signed a deal to jointly develop combined-cycle power generation projects around the world.

The memorandum of understanding also paves the way for the two companies to develop the next-generation of combined-cycle power plants with higher levels of thermal efficiency.

GE and Toshiba have worked together on gas turbine combined-cycle power generation systems since 1982 and have existing agreements to pursue 50-Hz and 60-Hz projects in Japan and other parts of Asia.

Today’s deal is intended to allow both firms to jointly target further projects outside of Asia. In particular the companies are looking to secure contracts similar to the one secured last year for Nishi Nagoya thermal plant in Japan. GE and Toshiba will supply GE’s FlexEfficiency technology to the plant, which is run by Chubu Electric Power, with the system being jointly configured to achieve the world’s highest thermal efficiency of 62 per cent.

Steve Bolze, president of GE Power & Water, said today’s MoU “significantly enhances our longstanding relationship with Toshiba and allows us to work toward combining the capabilities of both companies in pursuing projects around the world”.

Toshiba president Norio Sasaki added: “Our 30-year relationship with GE has been mainly focused on Japan, and we are excited to work toward collaborating with GE in select projects around the world.”