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Our Response to COVID-19: Helping the World Power Through

April 08, 2020

This moment is like nothing we’ve seen before in our lifetimes—impacting all our communities and disrupting lives everywhere. We are all concerned for our loved ones and our future. In our business, given the nature of what we do and, in turn, the basic but essential actions we help enable others to do—turn on the lights, refrigerate food, receive important medical care—our employees continue to play a crucial role every day. Our priority remains the health and safety of our teams, and we have put extra precautions in place across our business to protect employees. But this is not easy work to do, and I want to extend my deep gratitude to our Gas Power team, inclusive of our FieldCore team—our 100% GE-owned Field Services organization of 12,000+ that leads our field efforts across 60+ countries in the world.

As I shared during an all hands meeting this week, I am incredibly humbled and proud of our team and the difference we continue to make around the world—from the staff in our factories making parts and equipment, to our service teams in the field installing equipment and conducting outages, to those adapting to working remotely while providing support for each other and our business. This is a team that has helped achieve the commercial operation of 25+ new units over the last 90 days, adding 4.2+ gigawatts (GW) of electricity to the global grid. A team that in partnership with FieldCore has completed outages for 55+ customers in 20+ countries year to date and is working with another 60+ customers across 20+ more countries currently. The amount of electricity these outages are protecting for in the global grid represents approximately 30 GW of power globally. And this is a team that is safely operating more than 90 percent of our manufacturing facilities that are considered essential with more than 7,500 employees who are working hard every day to give our customers what they need to continue producing power for critical infrastructure.

Our sense of duty and resolve has never been stronger.

Let me share a few additional examples of how our team is answering the call: just two weeks ago in Germany, a 200-ton 9E gas turbine coming from our factory in Belfort, France rolled through mostly empty streets to its final destination at Stadtwerke München’s Heizkraftwerk Süd cogeneration power plant. The new 9E turbine is a critical upgrade to enhance the current performance and reliability of the power plant, which provides heat and power for the city of Munich. Our team was there to make sure it arrived safely and on-time.

A few thousand miles away, 11 members of our team from five countries were recently deployed to execute a critical job in the Middle East. They completed the job they were sent to do on February 24. More than one month later, this team remains in the country due to government-directed travel restrictions. The team could have easily given in to the stress of being away from their families and homes. Instead, they have completed nearly 7,000 combined hours of additional work in Kuwait, including seven outages and six machine tunings. Given the strict travel restrictions in place around the world, this is work that would have been very difficult—if not impossible—to otherwise complete on-time as the out-of-town technicians required to complete it would not have been able to travel to the site.

And there are many other notable successes, including in Malaysia, where we recently achieved first-fire in the field with our 9HA.02 gas turbine at the Track 4A Power Station. The 9HA.02 is an industry leader generating 838 MW at 64.1% efficiency in a single-shaft, combined-cycle configuration. We are currently in the process of installing and commissioning five 9HA.02 gas turbines in Malaysia that will generate 3.7 GW of power for the country.

In Brazil, we have just completed an important 96-hour reliability test of an entire 1.5 GW power plant, which features three HA machines and a modularized bottoming cycle for ease of installation. The plant will be one of the largest and most efficient power plants in Latin America, and the successful test highlights the GE team’s ability and excellence in executing full engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) projects.

Across the world in Italy, which has been severely impacted by COVID-19, a controls expert on our Aero services team was able to work remotely with a customer to restart a unit —troubleshooting and analyzing the issue in a matter of hours. This is just one instance of many in which our team is responding with speed and precision even in remote working environments.

Beyond our day-to-day work supporting our customers, we are also lending GE’s time, talent, and technology to help support the demand for medical equipment. In the United States at our Greenville, South Carolina facility, GE’s Gas Power and other businesses are manufacturing face mask covers to lengthen the lifespan of an N95 mask for our healthcare workers who face a dire shortage of this protective gear. The team originally 3D-printed the covers so they could quickly iterate the design as they received feedback from doctors and nurses. They have now transitioned several of the designs to a waterjet process where they can produce over 1000 mask covers per day. We are working closely with healthcare providers to pilot the masks and get them into the hands of those who need them most.

Lastly, we are working in concert with other GE businesses to donate other critical supplies to healthcare providers and communities globally. We have also provided monetary donations, supported customers with personal protective equipment and best practice training, and donated technology and resources to students to support distance learning.

I want to again thank the entire Gas Power team as well as our suppliers, partners and all of those who are helping our customers meet the needs of their customers. From the healthcare professionals on the front lines of this pandemic, to the global leaders working around the clock to guide us through uncharted waters, to first responders and those working in essential industries all over the world—everyone is depending on reliable electricity. We will continue to help deliver it.


Scott Strazik - CEO, GE Gas Power