GE launches distributed power business to boost energy security in Africa

GE said it is currently in test with its 2.6-MW 616 diesel engine, the first high-speed diesel engine model for power generation

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GE Power & Water introduced its new distributed power business for Africa, building on GE’s corporate commitment to help address the continent’s need for more reliable, local energy supplies that can promote greater economic development and security in urban and rural areas.

GE unveiled its new distributed power business for Africa and its plans for entry into the diesel space during an event in Lagos, Nigeria, a country where distributed power technologies are becoming increasingly popular for supporting local industrial production. The distributed power business focuses on power generation at or near the point of use, on or off the grid.

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GE said it is currently in test with its 2.6-MW 616 diesel engine, the first high-speed diesel engine model for power generation that GE will introduce as part of a larger initiative to further expand the company’s footprint in distributed power applications that use reciprocating engine technology.

The 616, which GE plans to ship later this year, has been designed for higher efficiency, more reliability and technology excellence and is a derivative of distributed power’s Jenbacher J616 gas engine design and the P616 locomotive diesel engine from GE Transportation. The 616 diesel brings together medium-speed engine fuel economy with high-speed engine CAPEX, aiming to improve customer total life cycle cost.

The announcement comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s announcement of the Power Africa initiative, which seeks to drive growth in Africa by increasing access to reliable, affordable and sustainable power and by helping to ensure responsible, transparent and effective management of energy resources on the continent. In support of Power Africa, GE is committed to working with governments and private partners to help bring online about 5 GW of new, affordable energy in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. GE intends to provide technology based on a variety of fuel sources as appropriate for each project, including solar, wind and natural gas, to deliver the power and support partners in arranging financing for these projects.

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