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Press Release

Pioneering Gas Engine Technology

October 25, 2010

GENERAL Electric (GE) has extended its technical leadership in power generation gas engines with the unveiling of the multi-million-dollar product development within Jenbacher that allows the global player to better address the large engine space.

The J920 engine is an innovation that pioneers gas engine technology addresses customer needs for decentralised, independent power in remote hot or high-altitude regions. In considering South Africa the technology is particularly relevant for power grid stabilisation.

The engine has electrical efficiency of 48,7% and an output of 9,5MW to credit it with being the most efficient in its class currently capable of providing sufficient energy for 18500 average middle-class households.

The prototype had been undergoing extensive testing at the GE's Jenbacher gas engines manufacturing facility in Austria in recent months. A large-scale pilot programme would be launched in Rosenheim, Germany, after which the engine would enter serial production and available in 50 and 60Hz countries by 2012.

"The Jenbacher business has been a great acquisition for GE, growing four-fold since being part of our portfolio," said Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power & Water. "As part of our ongoing technical investment strategy, the J920 engine represents our latest differentiated solution which offers decentralized power and top of its class efficiency, reduced carbon emissions and a small, power-dense footprint. This latest announcement, coupled with our continuing investments in distribution relationships, supply chain and services, positions us well to meet the evolving needs of our global customers."

Leon Jansen van Vuuren, Sales Leader for GE Jenbacher Gas Engines, GE Power & Water said the power-dense engine was highly attractive from both a customer and an environmental perspective as the improved efficiency reduced lifecycle costs due to lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Comparatively the engine prevented 1500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to the emissions from 800 motor vehicles. This also translated into fuel savings touching R2bn from lower gas consumption.
"Hence, the J920 corresponds precisely with the objectives of GE's global ecomagination initiative whereby the group promotes innovative technologies for the reduction of emissions," he said.

GE has its roots in Africa, employing more than 1500 people and generating $3,5bn in revenue across the continent. Operating in Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, the group has forged sound strategic alliances that provide a wide range of solutions to support the continent's infrastructure transformation and industrial growth.

In June GE achieved another technological advancement with the world's first gas engine with two-stage turbo-charging. This technology raised the output of the J624, Jenbacher's largest gas engine commercially available, by 10% to 4,4MW and electrical efficiency to 46,5%.

Jansen van Vuuren said the new engine represented a response to constant increase in demands from customers for higher output and efficiency and constituted a strategic step in terms of long-term expansion for GE. "GE is now the world's only power generation gas engine specialist with a complete portfolio in the 0,25 to 9,5MW output range, confirming our technological and innovative leadership in this space," he said.

From a technical standpoint, the J920 is based on proven core elements from the combustion systems used in the Jenbacher six series and also employs the two-stage turbo-charging system. The engine reaches full output within five minutes, boosting its attractiveness for sue as cover for demand peaks.

Jansen van Vuuren concluded that short delivery times, fast installation, simple servicing and maintenance and high levels of operational flexibility that enabled the engine to be combined with powerhouse concepts in standardised power plant solutions were further advantages of the new technology.

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world's toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, health care solutions, and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at

Thuli Phiri
GE Global Growth Organization
[email protected]

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