COMPANIES

Rolls-Royce establishes civilnuclear power unit

Rolls-Royce has established a new business unit to address the global market for civil nuclear power in anticipation of a global market worth $100bn a year in 15 years’ time.

The new Rolls-Royce unit will provide a service that can support a number of the phases of a civil nuclear programme, including providing advice to governments and operators, technical engineering support and safety assessments, manufacturing, procurement and life support.

Rolls-Royce currently has the largest nuclear skills base of any UK company, with around 2000 specialist nuclear-focused employees in the UK, France and the US. It also has the UK’s most substantial nuclear supply chain, comprising around 260 proven suppliers.

The company’s strength in nuclear power originates from its involvement in the development and support of the nuclear steam raising plant for the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine programme.

The company estimates that by 2023 the global civil nuclear market, currently worth around à‚£30bn a year, will be worth circa à‚£50bn a year, with à‚£13bn in support of existing nuclear plant, à‚£20bn in new build and à‚£17bn in support for new reactors

Shareholders approve GDF, Suez merger

Europe’s second largest producer of electricity was formed after shareholders in French firms GDF and Suez approved a tie-up despite domestic political opposition and misgivings by EU officials.

The new GDF Suez will be the continent’s biggest gas transport and distribution group.

The decision closes a chapter opened by the French government in February 2006 when it thwarted a hostile bid for Suez from Italy’s Enel.

The new group will have a market value the equivalent of €90-100bn ($180-200bn), consolidated annual sales of €74bn and employ nearly 200 000 people.

GE shake up creates energy business unit

John Krenicki, president and CEO of GE Energy, has been named vice-chairman of GE, heading a newly-created energy and infrastructure business segment.

GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt made the announcement as part of a restructuring to move the company from six to four segments, including two infrastructure segments.

GE’s corporate structure has been whittled down from 11 organizations to the current four in a series of reorganizations since 2001.

Blackstone Group forms German wind farm partnership

Investment firm Blackstone Group has formed a partnership with Windland Energieerzeugungs GmbH to complete the development and construction of Meerwind, one of the North Sea’s largest wind farm projects.

The project, which will be located 80km off the north German coast, will cost in excess of €1bn ($1.57bn) to build. The wind farm will comprise 80 wind turbines with a combined generation capacity of 400MW.

It is planned to source all technical expertise and substantially all materials from within Germany. When completed, the wind farm will generate approximately 1.6bn KWh annually. This would be sufficient to supply 500 000 households with electricity, thereby eliminating approximately 1.4 million tons of CO2 that would otherwise be produced from coal fired power generation facilities.

David Foley, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said, “This will be Blackstone’s second significant investment in renewable energy following the financial closing of the $870 million Bujagali hydroelectric power station project by Blackstone’s 80 per cent owned portfolio company, Sithe Global, in December 2007.”

Babcock & Wilcox acquires Delta Power Services

Babcock & Wilcox has signed an agreement to purchase Delta Power Services from Olympus Services, LLC, a company wholly owned by Olympus Holdings, LLC.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, DPS is the fourth-largest operation and maintenance services provider for the US power generation industry. It employs approximately 200 employees at nine gas, biomass or coal fired power plants in Virginia, California, Texas, Florida, Michigan and Massachusetts.

DPS will operate as a subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox but will continue to use its name and brand.

British Energy set to be sold for à‚£12bn to France’s EDF

The UK’s nuclear power operator is set to be bought by French energy firm EDF and British Gas owner Centrica for around à‚£12bn ($24bn).

British Energy, which owns eight UK nuclear power stations, has been on the auction block for months. This is because the UK government wants to sell its “economic interest”.

British Energy’s board is insisting that EDF pay more than 750p a share, perhaps up to as much as 775p, having rejected an offer of 680p made by EDF in May.

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Sunny side up: Chinese module manufacturer Trina Solar is to supply Italian renewables specialist Enerpoint with 5 MW of photovoltaic solar modules in 2008 and between 22 and 30 MW of modules to be delivered in 2009 at agreed prices.

Let’s hear it for lubes: Shell Lubricants has signed a global supply agreement with power plant manufacturer Wärtsilä. Shell will become the Finnish firm’s preferred lubricant supplier for use in their gas and diesel engines.

Rokas ‘n’ roll: Iberdrola Renovables has raised its stake in Greek subsidiary Rokas, as part of a bid to fully acquire the firm. Iberdrola now owns 67.95 per cent of Rokas’ common shares and 52.66 per cent of its preferred shares.

A brighter future: Canadian Solar has announced that it has signed a 9 MW sales agreement for the sale of its e-Modules with Conergy USA. The contract runs for 12 months, through to June 2009.

A-Power teams up: A-Power Energy Generation Systems is to construct a 290 000 square foot wind turbine production in Bayan Nur in the western Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, with the capacity to produce 800 MW of wind turbines a year.

Get smart: Electronics manufacturer Advanced Innovations (AI) and Trilliant, the leader in delivering intelligent networks that power the Smart Grid, have signed an agreement to combine Trilliant’s Smart Grid products and services with AI’s global supply chain capabilities.

The Brotherhood habit: Peterborough, UK-based turbine maker Peter Brotherhood has been acquired by US giant Dresser-Rand in a à‚£31m ($62m) deal.

Powering ahead: Russia’s Power Machines has signed a licensing agreement for Siemens’ SGT5-4000F gas turbines rated at 285 MW. Power Machines will make and then market them for projects in Russia, Belarus, the CIS, the Baltic States and India.

Gone for a Chinese: Dutch wind turbine supplier Emergya Wind Technologies has established a Chinese marketing company, named Beijing EWT-CASC Directwind, aiming to install over 100 MW in the next five years.

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