Jeffrey Immelt just can’t stop buying. Today, he announced GE would pay $3.2bn for 90 per cent of Converteam, the French business that used to be Alstom Power Generation.
Converteam make equipment to convert renewable power into “grid-quality” electricity, and according to GE, its sales rose 36 per cent last year.
This now takes GE’s spending on energy acquisitions since October to over $11bn after the purchases of Dresser, Wellstream, Lineage Power and the well support unit of John Wood Group.
GE’s shareholders don’t seem too perturbed by the deal: its shares barely moved in pre-market trade – although that might change when the opening bell rings.
In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, Magued Eldaief, the head of GE’s UK energy business, answers your questions.
In the first of two posts, he discusses the future for nuclear power in northern Europe, wind power in the developing world and whether it is better to back small- or large-scale power generation projects.
In the second post, he discusses subsidies for carbon capture and storage, legislation to curb emissions and the future of smart metering.
Next in the hotseat is Iam Simm, chief executive of Impax Asset Management. He will be answering your questions next Friday, January 28th. Send in your questions for consideration by the end of Sunday, January 23rd to email@example.com.
But for now, over to Magued:
Many thanks for all your questions for Jack Gerard, the head of the API. His answers will appear on this site on Friday, January 14th.
Next week, the person in the hotseat will be Magued Eldaief, the managing director of GE’s energy business in the UK.
This is your chance to ask him about anything: from whether Western wind turbine makers can keep up with their Chinese rivals; to the future of smart grids; to whether CCS is a viable commercial enterprise.
Email all your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of Sunday, January 16th.
General Electric is paying $1.3bn for British pipeline-builder Wellstream, in a move to increase its exposure to Brazil’s oil industry. GE’s oil and gas arm already works alongside Brazil’s state-controlled giant Petrobras, the company that provides much of Wellstream’s revenues; now it can access Wellstream’s know-how and contracts, for a price moderately below what Wellstream was demanding.
The full FT story is here. But for investors, the deal holds three important lessons.
The British government has finally announced what we have known for a while: that it will keep in place the £60m of investment pledged by the last government to improve infrastructure for offshore wind.
David Cameron told the CBI annual conference:
To help secure private sector investment in this technology, we’re providing up to £60 million to meet the needs of offshore wind infrastructure at our ports. And to help move things forward, the Crown Estate will also work with interested ports and manufacturers to realise the potential of their sites.
It’s a triple win. It will help secure our energy supplies, protect our planet and the Carbon Trust says it could create 70,000 jobs.