GE partners with China on jet tech, high-speed rail, clean coal ventures

GE plans to partner with Chinese firms on technology ventures for its clean energy, aviation and rail transportation divisions.

General Electric on Wednesday announced that it plans to sign agreements with Chinese partners this week to partner on technology ventures for its clean energy, aviation and rail transportation divisions.

The deals total more than $2 billion in revenue for GE, and are expected to generate more than $1 billion in exports from the U.S. -- not bad for the nation’s second-largest manufacturing exporter.

They also demonstrate the increasing economic interdependence between the U.S. and China.

A quick summary of the deals:

  • GE Energy is partnering with the Shenhua Group to develop coal gasification technologies in China, which are important for commercial-scale deployment of cleaner coal plants.
  • GE Energy and China Huadian Corp. are working together to develop distributed energy combined heat and power (DECHP) projects, which GE expects to become the most efficient natural gas solutions for China.
  • GE Transportation signed a letter of intent with China's Ministry of Railways to provide $350 million worth of U.S.-built locomotives, locomotive sub-assembly kits, service support and signaling systems for China's railway upgrade.
  • GE Transportation signed a letter of intent with the Ministry of Railways to reaffirm both firms' intent to collaborate on high-speed rail and electric rail opportunities in North America.
  • GE Aviation and Aviation Industry Corporation of China will jointly develop and market a new generation of avionics systems, with a priority on the development of China's first home-grown large passenger jet. (Some of this technology is in use for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, the New York Times reports.)

The company also said it was selected as one of 10 companies that will participate in a new U.S.-China public-private partnership on healthcare technology and services.

GE has said publicly several times that it was looking to China for business expansion; along with indicating that the company was "back on offense," chief executive Jeff Immelt has announced plans to invest more than $2 billion in China through 2012 to expand research and development.

Illustration: GE

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