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Sep 28, 2011

GE committed to job creation in sub-Saharan Africa

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GE chairperson John Krenicki discusses the company's aspirations for Sub-Saharan Africa. Camerawork and Editing: Darlene Creamer.
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US industrial group General Electric (GE) chairperson John Krenicki, also president and CEO of GE Energy, said on Wednesday the company remained committed to job creation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Speaking at the launch of its expanded manufacturing facility in Midrand, he said the energy division had created some 20 000 new jobs globally through its acquisitions and technology developments and hoped that would be the case for the sub-Saharan region.

GE announced earlier this month that it had entered into more than $3-billion in new customer agreements spanning its energy business. Over the past twelve months, the energy business has spent $11-billion on acquisitions.

The orders include natural gas production technologies in subsea and liquefied natural gas sectors; natural gas technologies, such as heavy-duty and aeroderivative gas turbines, gas engines and waste-heat recovery solutions to produce power, wind turbines; and water treatment, grid infrastructure and equipment optimization technologies.

As such emerging economies showed strong demand for energy technologies, and Krenicki said GE was “just getting started in sub-Saharan Africa”.

“There are diverse opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa and Africa, where the majority of the population do not have access to electricity and we hope to continue to grow our business and capitalise on opportunities.”

This month, national oil company PetroSA signed a wide-ranging agreement with GE, which would result in the two companies collaborating on opportunities as diverse as renewable energy and shale gas exploration, to improving efficiency at PetroSA’s existing refinery in Mossel Bay.

Krenicki, who indicated his excitement regarding South Africa’s renewable energy space, said the memorandum of understanding was “important”, also bringing to the table discussions on the use of advanced technologies that would enable efficiencies.

Edited by: Mariaan Webb
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