GE Factory Turns Airplane Engines into Gas Turbines
GE Energy, a subsidiary of General Electric, said Thursday it delivered 12 gas turbines made in Hungary from airplane engines to a power plant in Israel.
In a deal valued at $200 million, GE delivered the 50-megawatt aeroderivative gas turbines to Israeli Dorad Energy’s Ashkelon power plant.
GE assembles the motors at its factory in Cincinnati, which are then delivered to its Veresegyhaza plant in Hungary. They are then transformed into power generators, a feature unique in GE’s European operation.
The power generators can reach full capacity in just a few minutes, which makes them ideal for a back-up of wind energy that is prone to production outages in adverse weather conditions, Pierpaolo Mazza, GE Energy’s regional head, said at a plant visit.
A smaller mobile appliance with a 32-megawatt nominal capacity will be used during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in 2014. This plant fits onto two trailers and can be made operational within a week, a plant officer said on a tour of the site.
The new technology is certainly an area of growth for the energy arm of GE, Mr. Mazza said. He declined to comment on the volume of orders in the pipeline or growth forecasts, but said that the company could potentially expand its Veresegyhaza plant to meet higher demand.
Demand is high, with China, Russia, Latin American and African countries all seeking ways to boost energy-production capacities, Mr. Mazza said.
Gergo Lencses, the head of the Hungarian plant, said the company was selling plants to German farmers as well. One such farmer has 100 cows, Mr. Lencses said, producing enough gas through biomass technology to fuel greenhouses and sell additional electricity to the national grid.
GE Hungary Kft, the Hungarian arm of GE, employs 10,000 workers and is the fourth-largest company in by revenue.