Company News

News digest

Air Control alliance: Air Control Science and Koch Group have announced the formation of a strategic alliance to design, fabricate and install ACS Dustless Transfer chute systems in bulk materials handling systems that combine both firms’ technologies. Both companies specialize in developing and installing patented technology and systems for bulk materials handling such as coal.

Allegro in Asia: Allegro Development Corporation announced that it has opened an office in Singapore in response to the growing demand for its software products in the Asia Pacific energy markets. The office will serve the region’s power and energy companies, which are increasingly seeking to replace inflexible and costly legacy software in the face of rapid industry growth and changing regulations.

Areva network: Areva has set up a network of experts comprising its top three hundred technicians and researchers in order to develop its expertise and ensure that it remains a world leader in the energy field. The aim of the network is to consolidate and exchange knowledge, develop technologies for future markets and extend the scientific influence of the Areva Group.

Constellation alliance: Constellation Generation Group has finalized a strategic alliance with Framatome ANP, a joint subsidiary of Areva and Siemens, and Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation for easy access to the full line of products and services offered by the companies. It is hoped that the agreement will enhance the operations of Constellation’s national fleet of power plants by enhancing reliability and efficiency and minimizing O&M costs.

Enel commitment: Enel has been admitted to the United Nations Global Compact, a programme proposed by UN secretary general Kofi Annan in 2000 which calls for corporations to officially commit themselves to the principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the principles and workers’ rights established by the International Workers’ Organization and those contained in the Rio Declaration for the Environment and Development. The move by Enel is in line with its existing Social Responsibility Programme.

Fluor license: Fluor Corporation has purchased a three-year worldwide license agreement for the entire suite of Aveva’s Vantage plant design and engineering software solutions. The agreement provides Fluor with on-demand, pay-as-you-go access to Aveva’s solutions, and allows faster mobilization of its global engineering, procurement and construction projects.

Siemens strengthens HV position

Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution (PTD) has reached an agreement with CVC Capital Partners to acquire Trench Electric Holding B.V. of Amstelveen, Netherlands, for g285m ($341m). The move will add new high voltage products to Siemens’ portfolio, and strengthen its position in China, South America and the NAFTA area.

Trench Group is a manufacturer of high voltage products such as instrument transformers, bushings and reactors. With a workforce of 1800, the company achieved sales in 2003 of g250m. It has operations in Austria, Brazil, China, Canada, Germany, France, the UK and Switzerland.

Siemens PTD recently outlined its strategy for the medium term: to “conquer top position” in the market and achieve a profit margin of six per cent. “I call it growth with vigilance,” said Dr. Udo Niehage, group president of Siemens PTD. “Our goal is to hold on to our current second place position, to strengthen it and to take over as the market leader in the medium term.”

The company sees industry as one potential growth area, and also forecasts ongoing growth in China and India. “Due to world population growth, global energy consumption is set to rise by an average of 2.6 per cent every year until 2020,” said Dr. Jàƒ¼rgen Schloss, Siemens PTD group vice president. “One issue … is to ensure the reliable and cost-effective transmission of power to where it is needed.”

OMZ purchases Skoda divisions

Russian manufacturer OMZ-Power Machines has signed an agreement to purchase two subsidiaries of Skoda specializing in the production of nuclear equipment and steels. The acquisition should enhance the company’s position in the Eastern European market.

The agreement covers Skoda JS, which concentrates mainly on engineering, manufacturing and servicing for the nuclear energy field, and the Skoda Steel consortium, which manufactures four-stroke diesel motor cranks and wind power station shafts. The combined sales of the two companies amount to over $200m.

Once the acquisition is completed, Skoda JS will be incorporated in the Nuclear Power Generation division of OMZ-Power Machines, and Skoda Steel will join the steel and metallurgy plants.

OMZ-Power Machines believes that the acquisition will improve its chances of winning contracts to upgrade nuclear plants in Eastern Europe. Skoda’s special steels department controls 40 per cent of the global market for large crankshafts and rollers for windmills.

Security of supply is key concern

PriceWaterhouse Coopers’ latest global utilities survey has revealed that security of supply has become the top concern for utility companies across the world. In 2003, the issue ranked just fourth.

‘Supply Essentials: Utilities Global Survey 2004’ presents the views of 148 leading companies across 47 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. The changing priority of issues and concerns, are, says PWC, a direct result of increasing difficulties in the balancing act of power generation, demand and transmission.

Demand is outstripping supply in many areas, and world energy demand is expected to rise by two-thirds between 2003 and 2030. In the same period, global electricity sector investment needs are estimated to be $10tr, three times higher than investment in the electricity sector over the past 30 years.

SPL acquires CES International

SPL has announced that it has signed am agreement to acquire the assets of CES, a provider of outage management solutions to the utility industry. SPL, which provides customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to utilities, says the purchase will enable it to significantly expand its product range.

SPL will offer its customers two of CES’ products ” Centricity, an outage management solution, and Netricity, an energy delivery management solution ” both as standalone products and integrated with its own existing customer care and billing products. SPL will also offer support to Centricity and Netricity customers.

Analysts believe the acquisition is a good fit for SPL, particularly in the current US market.

Calpine commits to low carbon future

Calpine chairman and CEO Peter Cartwright has announced plans to address global warming by limiting the company’s investments to low carbon power generation technologies only. The decision was described as “visionary” by Terry Tamminen of California Environmental Protection Agency, who encouraged other power generators to follow suit.

Calpine is the world’s largest producer of geothermal power and operates a large fleet of natural gas fired power plants in North America. “It may be decades before we know with complete certainty the full ramifications of global warming, but we do know the risk is significant,” said Cartwright. “But by the time we do have total certainty, it maybe too late to take remedial action. [This] decision merges a business strategy with global environmental goals.”

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