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GE wins $300 mln order to supply to China pipeline

  General Electric Co has been awarded a $300 million order to provide compressors for a large natural gas pipeline being built across China, a top executive for the US conglomerate said in an interview.

The order is for the second phase of a 12,430-mile(20,000-km) pipeline that PetroChina Co Ltd, Asia’s top oil and gas producer, is building to transport natural gas from near the country’s northwestern border with Kazakhstan to more developed areas in the southeast.

The order about doubles to more than $600 million GE’s revenue associated with the project, which is due to be completed by 2011. In all, GE is supplying about 60 turbocompressors -- modified jet engines used to maintain pressure and keep gas flowing through long-distance pipelines.

“This is a big environmental project for China as a country,” said Claudi Santiago, chief executive of GE’s oil and gas unit. He noted that China currently relies on coal for the bulk of its energy, adding, “Gas is a much cleaner source of energy.”

The gas will primarily be used to power new electric plants, though some of the oldest coal-burning plants may be taken off line, Santiago told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“The majority of this gas will be used to satisfy the incremental demand that has been generated over the last few years,” Santiago said. GE’s oil and gas business last year earned $1.13 billion, a 31% increase, on about $7.42 billion in revenue.

It is part of the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company’s Energy Infrastructure division, which last year was GE’s fastest-growing business in terms of profit and sales. (Reuters)