GE Energy announced the next step in the integration of its acquisition of Converteam by renaming the business Power Conversion. GE says Power Conversion’s technologies in process controls, automation systems, and high-efficiency power electronics, motors and generators are expected to enable GE Energy to better meet the needs of customers looking to improve operational efficiency and productivity.
The Power Conversion business, which GE Energy acquired for $3.2 billion in September 2011, is intended to help GE expand its presence in the fast-growing energy efficiency, electrification and automation sector, which is valued at $30 billion and is growing above global GDP.
“We are combining our technology and consultative offerings in systems integration to help the world’s fastest growing energy and industrial sectors improve the efficiency and profitability of their operations,” said Power Conversion CEO Joe Mastrangelo, in a prepared statement. “Our strengths in these sectors will allow GE to lead by managing the entire energy lifecycle, where our customers want us to play a bigger role.”
Large industrial companies are replacing mechanical processes with high-efficiency, customized electric alternatives that deliver better reliability, require less maintenance, and create lower emissions in industrial processes. This trend is called electrification, which is expected to double over the next 20 years, according to GE. One of the trend’s leading drivers is the oil and gas industry, which is using electrical systems to extract and transport natural gas more efficiently.
Approximately 25 percent of electricity produced globally is used to power electric motors in industrial applications. GE says Power Conversion’s solutions could help improve industrial motor energy efficiency by 30 percent, helping to reduce electricity consumption, energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions. According to GE, Power Conversion with GE’s Industrial Solutions business also will address all steps in the energy conversion chain with a portfolio built around rotating machines, power electronics, wind converters, solar inverters, and process control technologies.
The fastest growth in the industrial automation sector is expected to be in Brazil, Russia, India and China, and the Middle East. GE says the expansion will be driven by a demand in energy efficiency and integrated electrical and mechanical solutions critical to customers who are competing in highly competitive industries.
The Converteam acquisition is the latest in approximately $11 billion of acquisitions that have expanded GE Energy’s portfolio beyond the power generation sector into industries that rely on cleaner, more efficient energy.