ISTANBUL, Sept 26 General Electric has
already invested more than half of the $900 million it has
earmarked for Turkey on projects ranging from energy to
healthcare to locomotive production, Chief Executive Jeff Immelt
said on Thursday.
The investments totalling $515 million include supplying
turbines for a 35-megawatt wind farm and gas turbines for an
840-megawatt power plant, both to be operated by GE's Turkish
partner, Gama Energy, when they start up in 2014 and 2016.
The investments by GE, which were announced in early 2012
and will span three years, should boost Turkish manufacturing
and slash the country's import bill.
The current account deficit is almost $60 billion.
Other GE investments include facilities to make bladed
disks, or blisks, for the LEAP engines built by a venture
between GE Aviation and Snecma of France, Immelt said.
The disks, which will be exported worldwide, will be made by
a joint venture between GE and state-run Turkish Aerospace
GE, the world's top manufacturer of airplane engines and
diesel locomotives, owns a 46 percent stake in TAI.
"This complements (the government's goal) to strengthen
localised manufacturing and boost exports to drive the country's
competitiveness," Immelt said at a signing ceremony.
The investments include production of GE PowerHaul
locomotives in Turkey, with a target of 50 units next year and
eventually as many as 100 units annually, which could be worth
exports of $1.5 billion in 10 years, Immelt said.
Turkey has long sought to create a wind-turbine
manufacturing base to harness its own wind potential, and Immelt
said GE's investments in towers and blades in Turkey may
eventually boost a sector to serve local and foreign markets.
"We are investing in wind parts, and I see a very strong
pathway to localising wind-turbine production," he said.