General Electric says blade problem affects more gas
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[September 22, 2018]
By Alwyn Scott
(Reuters) - General Electric Co <GE.N> said on
Friday that turbine blade oxidation which forced Exelon Corp <EXC.N> to
idle four electric power units in Texas also affects another model,
widening the impact of the latest problem to hit GE's ailing power unit.
GE said the oxidation, which weakens metal turbines blades, also could
affect no more than 75 of its 9FB turbines, in addition to some 51
HA-Class turbines that it warned earlier may have the problem.
GE said that the 9FB "comprises less than 1 percent of the company’s
global gas turbine fleet" of 7,500 turbines installed worldwide. GE has
said it sold its first 9FB in 2003.
GE shares were down 1.5 percent at $12.28.
The 9FB is part of a prior generation of turbines, known as the F-Class,
in which GE holds a market share lead over rivals Siemens AG <SIEGn.DE>
and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems <7011.T>.
For a graph showing GE's gas turbine market share and other details,
[to top of second column]
The logo of General Electric Co. is pictured at the Global
Operations Center in San Pedro Garza Garcia, neighbouring Monterrey,
Mexico, on May 12, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
The 126-year-old, Boston-based company declined to say whether any 9FB turbines
have been shut down due to blade oxidation.
Industry experts and investors on Friday were trying to gauge the risk to GE
power business, which has suffered steep declines in sales and profits.
News of the oxidation problem trickled out Wednesday when GE Power Chief
Executive Russell Stokes mentioned it in a post on the LinkedIn website.
GE said on Thursday that while four HA-Class units in Texas had been shut down,
10 other HA units in the U.S. were operating. GE's website shows five HA units
operating in U.S. GE said the other five have not yet started commercial
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott in New York and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by
Anil D'Silva and Marguerita Choy)
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