GE Tops MHPS, Siemens in 1Q Turbine Orders

General Electric, Siemens, and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems confirmed their gas turbine sales for the year’s first quarter, with GE taking the top spot with six orders for its advanced HA-class unit.

The three companies on May 14 confirmed the numbers to Reuters. GE, which had no sales in the same period a year ago, said its total includes three units purchased by Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Co. Those units were not included in the company’s first-quarter earnings report, but were noted in the industry’s closely studied “McCoy Power Report,” which was published Tuesday. McCoy has not commented on the report.

Sources told Reuters, and the companies confirmed, that MHPS had five turbine orders in the first quarter, while Siemens had four.

The three companies have struggled to book turbine orders in recent years as the power industry moves toward renewable generation resources such as wind and solar. Each company has rolled out new, more-efficient models in an effort to gain market share.

CEO Larry Culp, who took over GE in October 2018, said at the company’s annual meeting on May 8 that GE’s $80 million profit in the first quarter of 2019 was not a trend, adding that results would likely be weaker for the remainder of the year. Culp in October 2018 separated the company’s gas power operations from its other power units as he embarked on a restructuring of GE.

GE and Siemens have overhauled their operations in the past couple of years, with both companies closing manufacturing sites and laying off workers. Siemens in September 2018 said it would cut 2,900 jobs in Germany over the next two years, part of the layoffs included in its 2017 announcement of 6,900 job cuts.

GE in December 2017 announced 12,000 layoffs in its power unit.

Siemens last week said it will spin off its oil and gas, power generation, and grid businesses, and also drop its 59% stake in Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, to avoid competition with other Siemens units for operating capital. Siemens said the new company would be publicly traded by September 2020.

A German magazine earlier this year reported that Siemens and MHPS had discussed a merger of their turbine units, though both companies dismissed that possibility.

GE has been the global leader in turbine installations for years, with more than 7,500 units installed worldwide. But its power unit was the main reason behind the company’s $22.8 billion in losses last year, due to a $22 billion write-down of generation assets, and an $872 million operating loss for the power unit.

Darrell Proctor is a POWER associate editor (@DarrellProctor1, @POWERmagazine).

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