Daily Management Review

GE Power Business Could Get A Boost With A Potential Mega Deal In Iraq


GE Power Business Could Get A Boost With A Potential Mega Deal In Iraq
The flagging power business of General Electric got a boost after the company etched a preliminary agreement to rebuild the dilapidated electric power grid of Iraq.
But the stage for the final contract bidding has been set as GE rival, Germany's Siemens, has also entered into a nonbinding agreement with the Iraqi authorities. It is reported that the project is worth about $15 billion. 
According to reports, Siemens was all set to clinch the deal by itself and therefore this news of the agreement with GE is a win of sorts for the US power company. The global trend in recent years of a shift from fossil fuels to alternative and renewable energy sources has hit both the firms. Thousands of employees have been laid off by both. Recently, GE warned of more financial impact from its ailing power business.
According to a report by the Financial Times, the Trump administration intervened on behalf of GE and as a result Iraq decided to consider a second party for bidding on the lucrative contract. The report claimed that the Iraqi officials and authorities were reminded about the sacrifice of thousands of Americans since the Iraq war in 2003.
The intervention by Washington in the matter was criticised by German officials.
"It is unacceptable to apply the 'America First' doctrine in this way to global competition among multinational companies," Joachim Lang, managing director of the Federation of German Industries, told the German news paper Welt am Sonntag.
There were no comments available on the issue from officials from the Trump administration. No comments in the media are also available from GE. No details of the agreement were provided by GE either.
War, terror and old age have virtually crippled the electric grid of Iraq and it requires a major overhaul.
Billions in revenues have been lost in Iraq because of constant power outages and blackouts. It has also negatively impacted the oil industry and has triggered hundreds of protests from citizens. And according to the US Energy Information Administration, the demand for power can exceed supply by over 50 per cent during the peak hours of summer which makes the situation worse.
According to the expectations of GE, its operations in Iraq will ultimately help in addition of up to 14 gigawatts of power to the existing capacity, generate about 65,000 direct and indirect jobs and the government would be able to save up to $3 billion per year.
"We are honored to support the government's focus on rebuilding Iraq, and we are proud of our legacy of delivering power where needed in the country," GE Power CEO Russell Stokes said in a statement.
It has been over five decades that GE has done business in Iraq. There are about 300 employees of the company in Iraq in offices situated in Baghdad, Basra and Erbil. According to the estimates GE, more than half the country's current electricity production is a result of its technological contribution.