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General Electric Advocacy - ITA Success Story of the week

In April 2009, General Electric (GE; Fairfield, CT) requested USG support for its campaign to provide the Kuwaiti Ministry of Electricity and Water with a combined cycle power plant.  Commercial Service staff at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait and U.S. Ambassador Deborah Jones engaged the local authorities on GE’s behalf, encouraging a fair and transparent tendering process.  Following these efforts, on September 14, GE signed a contract to provide the 2,000 Megawatt power plant in Subiya, Kuwait.  The project is valued at $2.6 billion, with approximately $1.1 billion in U.S. export content.  GE states that it uses an extensive network of domestic suppliers; the company estimates that 240 suppliers, located in 24 states, will supply components to build the gas turbines used for this project.

Additional details on Kuwait advocacy efforts:

In the Spring of 2009, after two failed cycles of bidding for this much needed power project, the Senior Commercial Officer in Kuwait City conducted meetings with Kuwaiti officials in the Ministry of Electricity and Water, to offset European competitor’s advocacy and urge fairness and transparency in the tendering process.  Subsequently the U.S. Ambassador met with a newly appointed Minister, who affirmed his determination to push this tender and a subsequent one to completion to alleviate the persistent electrical power shortage in Kuwait.   In August 2009, the Senior Commercial Officer paid a final call on the Minister, who reported that he expected the award to clear both the Central Tenders Committee and the State Audit Bureau before Ramadan ended on September 20.  Ministry Officials described GE’s win as them picking the superior technology, despite heavy political pressure.  Even after the award was announced, determined local agents for European bidders leaked sensitive documents to the media in efforts to discredit GE's victory.

Under its share of the contract with partner Hyundai of Korea, GE Energy will supply 6 9FA combined cycle gas turbines along with three steam turbines, related equipment, and associated services and plant level control protection system.  They will also dedicate a highly skilled workforce to run the power station and provide training for the Ministry of Electric and Water.  The Subiya power plant is scheduled to come on line in two phases.  The first will add 1,300 MW of capacity to the Kuwait electricity grid in 2011, and the second half in 2012.

Upon the completion of the process, the U.S. Embassy received letters of thanks from GE's Sr. VP and General Counselor and GE’s Region Executive for the Middle East, Joseph Anis, thanking the Embassy and the U.S. Commercial Service for this well coordinated effort involving 20 Embassy meetings, dozens of e-mails and about 50 phone calls to gain information and overcome obstacles.



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