GE hydropower factory opens in China

Beijing, China, Oct. 28, 2005 — GE Energy’s hydropower operations in Asia celebrated the grand opening of a new flagship manufacturing, engineering and service center in Hangzhou, China.

With the new factory, GE is able to expand its capabilities and capacity to manufacture hydro turbines, generators and other hydro components to meet its customers’ needs in China and worldwide.

“GE’s Hangzhou facility is proving itself to be a critical platform in China and Asia,” said Steve Fludder, president and CEO of GE Energy China.

GE’s new 43,000 square-meter facility is located at an industrial center 15 kilometers outside Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province in southeast China. The previous factory was located in the city’s downtown section of Xiaoshan, Hangzhou, 180 kilometers southeast of Shanghai. GE moved its 558 employees and most of its office equipment into its new facility in late May 2005.

The grand opening ceremony, featuring numerous Chinese dignitaries and GE executives, was part of a two-day series of events to showcase GE’s improved hydropower equipment manufacturing and service capabilities. The activities included a hydro technology symposium, focused on the latest developments in the industry, a dedication ceremony and plant tours.

Key manufacturing and supply chain strategies were implemented to speed up production and delivery schedules, improve quality and reduce operational and equipment storage costs. The Hangzhou facility implements the principles of lean manufacturing and “zero inventory.” For example, in the previous location, GE’s generator bar and pole manufacturing lines were split into different places. In the new factory, the lines have been combined into one. GE has tripled the number of numerically controlled (NC) machines, and incorporates various best practices from its hydro facilities in Canada and Norway. GE now manufactures more core components in-house.

The new plant is already supporting several major contracts, including the three-unit, 550-megawatt Pubugou Francis turbines project and the four-unit, 35-megawatt Xixiayuan Kaplan complete turbines and generators project.

GE Energy has been active in the hydropower industry in China since 1972.

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