• A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed for research, development and technological innovation in the Oil & Gas sector, establishing a centre of global excellence in Tuscany for new-generation gas turbines and centrifugal compressors.
• Another Memorandum of Understanding has been signed in the last week between Avio Aero, a GE Aviation business, and the Minister of Economic Development for a €200 million investment in Piedmont, Apulia and Campania.
• The overall prospect of GE’s investments in Italy is worth more than $800 million.
The MoU was signed today in Florence by GE Oil & Gas at a ceremony attended by the Minister of Economic Development Federica Guidi, the President of Tuscany Region Enrico Rossi, GE’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, the President and CEO of GE Italia Sandro De Poli, the President and CEO of GE Oil & Gas Lorenzo Simonelli and the President of Nuovo Pignone Massimo Messeri.
The investment in significant research, development and technological innovation in the country reaffirms GE Oil & Gas’ commitment to the Italian market, and reinforces its cooperation with universities, SMEs and the regional economy where it operates. Tuscany is the home to Oil & Gas’ Turbomachinery Solutions division and is also present in Lombardy, Calabria and Apulia.
“GE has been in Italy for nearly 100 years and today’s milestone underlines our strong on-going commitment to investing and growing our business here,” said Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE. “Today’s MoU provides a framework to further enhance the skills of the local workforce and boost research and development in cutting edge oil & gas technology made in Italy for the world.”
Another Memorandum of Understanding has been signed in the last weeks between Avio Aero - a GE Aviation business - and the Italian Minister of Economic Development, consisting of €200 million over the next four years and involving Piedmont, Apulia and Campania, the geographical areas in which Avio Aero employs about 4,000 people.
The MoU announced today will see GE Oil & Gas operations invest $600 million over the next five years establishing a centre of global excellence in Tuscany for the oil and gas sector that will involve 500 highly qualified people coming from GE, universities, research labs, and small and medium-sized enterprises. The project aims at increasing Italian production by 50% and increase company revenue by $1.7 billion in five years. With the support of national government and Tuscany Region, it will also train a new generation of engineers specialising in next generation high-tech design and industrialisation. This will provide concrete benefits in terms of innovation and productivity both for the world of research and for local entrepreneurial activities.
The programme, named Galileo, supports the development of gas turbines and centrifugal compressors with a 5-65MW power range and innovative digital technologies covering their entire life cycle with aim of optimising the performance and operative life of the products. Through the GE Store, which is the marketplace that identifies synergies and transfers them across GE’s diverse businesses, GE Oil & Gas will be able to use aeroderivative material technology to introduce increasingly lighter and smaller machines to the oil and gas industry.
The investment in R&D will be supported by the use of new digital technologies for accelerating processes and improving performances, in line with the global GE digital industrial transformation and fully in agreement with the commitment of the Italian government to promote the digital transformation of the Country.
“The signing of this protocol is a further and significant step in our investment strategy in Italy, the country where our skills were born and that has always represented a crucial hub for GE Oil & Gas research and development” stated Lorenzo Simonelli, CEO and President of GE Oil & Gas. “We thank the central and local institutions for supporting us as in this ambitious and strategic project for our company that will enable us to develop new, ore efficient, lighter and more competitive technologies for the global oil and gas industry.”
“The relationship between Tuscany and General Electric has strengthened in recent years as evidenced by the increasingly massive investments of the company, and by the impact of its activities on regional GDP (4.6%) declared Enrico Rossi, President of Tuscany Region - According to a study made by Irpet, GE employs in Tuscany around 34,000 people, including direct employees and spillover.
“The collaboration between the Region and GE Oil & Gas develops on several fronts: from research and innovation projects, in collaboration with universities and local SMEs, to joint and experimental laboratories (eg. SestaLab), training activities, productive investments in the Florence and Massa Carrara plants, up to logistics and industrial platforms such as those in the yard of Avenza, in the dry port of Livorno and, we hope soon, in the renovated port of Piombino.
“GE’s commitment to consolidate its presence in Tuscany, through the project presented today, that is a global benchmark for the oil and gas sector, confirms the quality of our choices. It also demonstrate GE’s intention to strengthen the relation with our region, thanks to the appeal of a warm and very competitive environment, a skilled and cohesive work force and, let me say it, also for the credibility and reliability of local institutions.”
The protocol signed today is a first MoU between all the signatories and is meant to test the feasibility of the project. It can be subsequently enhance by further agreements with other Regions and could involve public and private research organizations, SMEs and innovative start-ups. Within three months from the signing, signatories agree to sign a Framework Programme Agreement for the 2016-2020 five-year period.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed in the past weeks by Avio Aero and MiSE consists of €200 million over the next four years, and will involve Piedmont, Apulia and Campania, the geographical areas in which Avio Aero employs about 4000 people. One aim of these investments is to innovate production processes in order to maintain the technological competitive edge of the research laboratories and production plants of Avio Aero. The other is to invest in R&D in order to allow the company to continue playing a role of primary importance in the aeronautic programmes of the future.
Avio Aero produces strategic components for increasingly sustainable and eco-compatible air transport by utilizing new manufacturing technologies, such as additive manufacturing. One example of additive manufacturing at work is at the Avio Aero plant in Cameri, which produces aeronautical components using TiAL, a special metal alloy that significantly reduces weight and consumption. The components are used in next-generation engines such as GE Aviation’s GE9X, which will be mounted on the Boeing 777X, the 400-seater plane that is expected to come into service in 2020. For the same project, the plant in Pomigliano d’Arco will play a fundamental role in the production of some parts and the assembly of the entire turbine of the engine with new dedicated production lines.
In Apulia region Avio Aero and Bari Polytechnic are establishing a new laboratory, the Apulia Development Centre for Additive Repair, which will develop procedures for repairing aero-engine components using innovative technologies that are also based on laser systems. From 2018, the repair procedures developed and optimised in the laboratory will be industrialised in the Avio Aero plant in Brindisi and used for the restoration of in-service components, thus further extending the life cycle of the engines. The new activities will be carried out by 10 new researchers in addition to the 40 already active in Energy Factory Bari (EFB), the laboratory founded in 2010 by the same partners, in order to develop innovative aerospace and energy technologies. Avio Aero cooperates also with a consortium formed by the University of Pisa and Catharsis and AM Testing, two companies from Tuscany, for the GeTFuTuRe project that aims to verify the performance of innovative mechanical transmission.
“The history of Avio Aero is all an Italian tale” declared Riccardo Procacci, President and CEO of Avio Aero who also attended the ceremony today in Florence. The Memorandum of Understanding signed with MiSe and the prospect of investment in Piedmont, Apulia and Campania perfectly fit with our growth strategy through innovation and development of new technologies. This will enable our plants to continue to represent a strategic industrial centre for the Country and, at the same time, to be projected on the global scene”.
GE has been operating in Italy since 1921, and has 12,400 employees working in eight business divisions that are active in various technological sectors that are strategic for national development, from energy to transport and healthcare. With its 25 sites, three R&D centres and its Learning Centre, GE Italy has built an internationally integrated and known tradition that has impacted and helped to write the history of Italian industry.
GE Oil & Gas Nuovo Pignone has around 5,400 employees working in five production plants at Massa, Florence, Bari, Vibo Valentia and Talamona. In Italy GE Oil & Gas has also a yard for the assembly of large industrial modules in Avenza (Carrara).
GE (ge.com) is the digital company that is transforming industry with its connected, predictive and reactive, software-guided machines and solutions. GE is organised around a global exchange of knowledge the GE Store by means of which every business can gain access to the same technology, markets and facilities. Every invention feeds further innovations and applications throughout all of the industrial sectors of GE. As a result of its people, services, technology and size, GE brings its customers better results by speaking the language of the industry.
About GE Oil & Gas
GE Oil & Gas (geoilandgas.com) works on the things that matter in the oil and gas industry. In collaboration with our customers, we push the boundaries of technology to bring energy to the world. From extraction to transportation to end use, we address today's toughest challenges in order to fuel the future.
About Avio Aero
Avio Aero (avioaero.it) is a GE Aviation business working on the design, production and maintenance of components and systems for the civil and military aviation industry. Avio Aero is the centre of excellence for General Electric in the field of mechanical transmissions and low pressure turbines. In Italy Avio Aero employs 4,000 people at its headquarters in Turin, where its main plant is also located, as well as in Pomigliano d’Arco (Naples) and Brindisi. Abroad, it owns a production plant in Poland. Avio Aero’s origins date back to 1908 and for more than a century the company has led the way in numerous technological challenges. Its ongoing investments in research and development combined with a solid working relationship with leading international universities and research centers has enabled Avio Aero to develop globally recognized technological and manufacturing excellence, an achievement demonstrated by partnerships with the leading world operators in the aviation industry.
Barbara Del Sala - GE Oil & Gas
P: +39 055 458 6980 / +39 342 5635184
Marco Magli / Michele Laterza - Avio Aero
P: +39 334 6830703 / +39 334 6942913
E: marco.magli[.]avioaero.it / michele.laterza[.]avioaero.it.