Siemens is building a new production plant for 60-Hertz gas turbines at its existing facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. The initial investment will be approximately $135 million. Production is slated to start in the fall of 2011.
The expansion is part of Siemens’ U.S. growth strategy. Siemens’ U.S. revenues totaled almost 16 billion euros in fiscal 2009 (ending September 30, 2009), making the United States again the most important single-country market for Siemens. With annual power generation amounting to more than 4 billion megawatt-hours (MWh), the United States is also the world’s largest power market by far.
“Following construction of the two production plants for wind turbines in Fort Madison and Hutchinson, the decision to expand the Charlotte production hub is further proof of our commitment to the important U.S. market… Over the next five years, we expect employment at the Charlotte site to grow to nearly 1,800 people, with more than 1,000 of those positions new to Charlotte,” said Peter Löscher, president and CEO of Siemens AG.
Starting in the fall of 2011, Siemens anticipates that its gas turbines for 60-Hertz markets, such as North and South America, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the Philippines and Japan, will be produced in Charlotte. By producing the 60-Hz gas turbines in the U.S., Siemens will reduce the distance products are shipped to most customers, thus reducing related carbon dioxide emissions The production of 60-Hertz gas turbines at the Hamilton site in Canada will be phased out. The decision does not impact the production of gas turbines for 50-Hertz markets, which remains at the Berlin hub in Germany.
Charlotte to become a major gas and steam turbine production hub
In addition to production, service and other related functions for 60-Hertz gas turbines (e.g., R&D, supply chain management, etc.) will be bundled primarily in Charlotte, where the company already has a center for steam turbine and generator production and service.
In Charlotte, Siemens will in the future also produce the 60-Hertz version of the latest-generation H-class gas turbine. Over the last two years Siemens has successfully tested the 50-Hertz counterpart of the SGT-8000H, its ecofriendly gas turbine, under regular operating conditions at the power plant in Irsching, Bavaria. The plant is currently being extended to incorporate a steam turbine, making it possible for Siemens to increase combined cycle duty to over 60%. The annual carbon dioxide emissions from every new power plant of this design with a capacity of 570 MW are approximately 700,000 tons lower than the average emissions for power generation worldwide. This is equivalent to the emissions of 350,000 automobiles clocking up to 9000 miles a year.