• GE Power shaping to win Iraq contracts, while Swiss workers will be laid off

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

GE Power has been in the news in two very different ways over recent weeks. The company appears likely to win further contracts for the supply of power generation equipment in Iraq, after the US government exerted pressure on the Iraqi government on behalf of GE, according to a report from Reuters. Last October, the Iraqi government signed five-year ‘roadmap’ agreements with both GE and Siemens, with the total expenditure expected to be around US$14 billion (€12.5 billion) on new generation capacity, transmission infrastructure, repairs, and other power-related equipment. Subsequent to the October agreement, GE did win work to upgrade and maintain some facilities, but in April of this year, Siemens was awarded some projects and the Iraqi prime minister indicated that the German company was likely to win most future deals. This was the catalyst for US lobbying which has now put GE back in the running for more work.

Meanwhile, GE has announced that it will cut 450 further jobs at two sites in Switzerland that produce equipment for gas-fired power plants. The company explained that “demand for power generation from fossil fuels is declining, especially in Europe, in a competitive market.” The cuts to the jobs (10% of which are currently unfilled) are subject to discussions between trade unions and the Swiss government, though the company has already let 2000 workers go since 2016 in Switzerland.