General Electric’s Oil&Gas division wagers over 100 million Euros on Tuscany and on the development of new generation gas turbines in the next four years. An important commitment on behalf of the American giant that, despite the decision to move its Oil&Gas headquarters to London, renewed its bet on the growth of the Florentine pole, which will remain the headquarters for the division’s principal business: the Turbomachinery products & services, which has a yearly turnover in excess of 4.6 million Euros. General Electric has had a presence in Tuscany for nearly twenty years, since its 1994 acquisition of Nuovo Pignone – a Florentine company with a long history of excellence in the production of turbine compressors – from ENI. Since then – explains GE Oil&Gas CEO Dan Heintzelman – the division’s activities have gone from orders for 1.3 billion and approximately 3,500 employees, to an order portfolio that exceeds 18 billion and 43,000 employees spread across approximately 100 countries.
With the announcement of its new investment, the American group therefore confirms the attention paid to Italian companies – beyond Firenze and Massa in Tuscany, GE Oil&Gas also has plants in Talamona (near Sondrio), Bari, Casavatore (near Naples) and in Vibo Valentina – and particularly to Tuscan companies. Specifically, of the 140 million Euros of new resources committed worldwide, 105 million are investments directed to the Florentine pole in the 2013-17 period. The development program for the new turbines has already led to the hiring of 30 engineers, while another 70 will be inserted by 2017. Half of the resources will go to engineering, the other half to new production lines that will most likely be installed in the Massa plant. “The Nuovo Pignone commitment – explained Enrico Rossi, president of the Tuscan Region, while commenting the program – is one of the largest investments in energy that Tuscany has experienced in recent years, whose key element is the objective of developing increasingly sophisticated technologies, with returns on the production and employment networks. We are in the presence of a multinational that has decided to set its roots on our territory, thereby fueling a new cycle of technological innovation. It is a victory for Tuscany, which is able of designing and creating new excellencies, which can attract investments and provide jobs, beginning with the expertise already present on the territory and with social cohesion.”
The industrial and productive character of the commitment is also flanked by an equal commitment to experimentation and research. Indeed, GE Oil&Gas and Ansaldo Energia will be the major source of orders for the new research laboratory in Sesta – specializing on testing combustion technologies – which is also at the center of a broad revival project: the laboratory was purchased from ENEL by the Tuscany Region, which will also invest 5 million to develop the site. “Had we not had opportunity to use the Sesta laboratory – Massimo Messeri, president of Nuovo Pignone, explained – we would have had to take this technological business to the United States.”