French company GDF Suez formally announced last week it will merge its international business with UK company International Power. The new firm, New International Power, is expected to have over 66 GW in gross operation capacity and 22 GW in the pipeline.

The companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing the terms and conditions of the proposed combination of International Power and GDF Suez Energy International. Per the agreement, if approved by shareholders, GDF Suez will own 70% of the new firm, transferring GDF Suez International to International Power with £3.7 billion of net debt (as of June 30, 2010).

According to industry analysts, if the merger is approved, the new company will be
the world’s largest independent power producer, with estimated sales of £11.2 billion.

International Power already has more than 50 power plants around the world with 34.4 GW of gross capacity in operation and 4.5 GW under construction. GDF Suez Energy International, another independent power producer, has 32.7 GW in operation and 17.3 GW of committed projects. Plants in the pipeline include massive hydropower projects Estreito and Jirau in Brazil, and Ras Laffan C, Barka 3 / Sohar 2, and Riyadh PP11 in the Middle East.

Sources: GDF Suez, International Power, POWERnews