Siemens marks 150th anniversary

Siemens AG rec-ently commemorated the 150th anniversary of its founding in Ber-lin, Germany. The company began as the Siemens & Halske Telegraph Construction Co. in October of 1847, co-founded by We-rner von Siemens and Johann Georg Halske. Von Siemens had just patented the pointer telegraph. In 1866, von Siemens` development of the modern electric dynamo made possible the inexpensive generation of electricity. Siemens is also credited with developing the first electric train, first electrified elevator, first patent on the X-ray tube, the first electron microscope and the first process of silicon with semiconductor quality, among other things. To date, the company has registered more than 39,500 patents. Siemens is currently a (US)$63 billion company, employing more than 370,000 people in 190 countries.

The Mexican government plans to solicit bids by January from outside investors on a variety of independent power projects (IPP), according to statements from government officials. The country needs to increase its electric generating capacity from the current 35,000 MW to 45,000 MW by 2006. Jesus Reyes Heroles, Mexico`s secretary of Energy, said the government is seeking foreign investors for eight projects, with a total value of (US)$10 billion. These projects are expected to comprise approximately 85 percent of new capacity through 2006. The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) recently auctioned off several construction projects. The government only recently allowed private investment in the electricity sector.

“1998 will be the year for electricity,” he said. “We have the regulatory and legislative framework in place to actually launch the program.”