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EDF, GE Join Forces to Develop Most Flexible and Efficient Gas-Fired Power Plant in France


08 Dec 2011



• Innovative Partnership to Install World’s First FlexEfficiency* 50 Combined Cycle Power Plant, Demonstrating GE’s Latest, Most Efficient, Natural Gas-Fired Technology 

• Plant to Produce 510 Megawatts; Startup Set for 2015 

• Builds Upon Earlier Announcements in Turkey, Japan and China

BELFORT, FRANCE—December 8, 2011Électricité de France (EDF), one of the world’s largest utilities, and GE (NYSE: GE) today announced plans to jointly develop and showcase the first FlexEfficiency 50 plant to be connected to a national grid. The announcement is the latest development in a 40-year strategic relationship between EDF and GE.

The FlexEfficiency* 50 plant being co-developed by EDF and GE will showcase an unprecedented combination of flexibility and efficiency with low emissions. The new combined-cycle plant will be located at Bouchain, an existing EDF power plant site in northern France, and will produce 510 megawatts, enough electricity for 600,000 French households. The FlexEfficiency 50 plant is the result of GE’s $500 million investment in research and development to deliver cleaner and more efficient energy.

The plant is expected to achieve greater than 61 percent efficiency at base load, which will conserve natural gas and reduce the production of greenhouse gases. Its operating flexibility will enable the plant to respond quickly to fluctuations in grid demand, paving the way for greater use of renewable resources such as wind and solar.

As the United States and other international markets consider cleaner energy sources, EDF’s decision to install the FlexEfficiency 50 plant will be an important example of how flexibility and efficiency can combine to enable greater use of renewable power globally.     

“The signing of this strategic partnership marks a new chapter in the industrial story of fossil-fueled power generation, shared by GE Energy and EDF for nearly 40 years,” said Henri Proglio, chairman and CEO of EDF. “The production of this cutting-edge combined-cycle gas turbine is a testimony to the current modernization of EDF’s fossil-fired plants and the EDF Group’s commitment to innovation. It also consolidates EDF’s position as the benchmark architect–assembler in the international electricity market.”

In Bouchain, the introduction of the FlexEfficiency 50 plant will complement the existing and anticipated mix of power generating assets, while also conserving natural gas and reducing greenhouse gases. Through unprecedented flexibility and efficiency, the plant also will help France carve a path to meeting Europe’s 20/20/20 energy goals. 

The project announcement was made at GE’s world-class, 50-hertz gas turbine manufacturing facility in Belfort, France, where the turbine at the heart of the FlexEfficiency 50 plant will be built. GE Energy is the only medium and heavy-duty gas turbine manufacturer in France, employing more than 2,000 people in Belfort.

Both EDF and GE will invest in the plant, which is scheduled to be brought into service in late 2015. The announcement is the latest proof point of a strategic relationship that has existed between the two companies for nearly 40 years. During that time, EDF has selected more than 120 GE turbines for projects totaling 12,000 megawatts of installed capacity.

GE’s FlexEfficiency 50 plant is an integrated, highly efficient system that includes these key components: a next-generation 9FB Gas Turbine, a 109D-14 Steam Turbine that runs on the waste heat produced by the gas turbine, an advanced W28 Generator, a Mark* Vle control system that links all of the technologies and a heat recovery steam generator

“Like GE, EDF recognizes the value of technology innovation, and we are very pleased to team with them to develop this milestone power plant,” said Paul Browning, president and CEO of GE Energy’s Thermal Products business. “Our strategic relationship with one of the world’s largest utilities signifies the continued interest in and advancement of our FlexEfficiency portfolio of efficient and low-carbon technologies.”

“EDF and GE have worked together for nearly 40 years, and both companies are committed to reinventing and reinforcing the strength of this alliance. As a cutting edge technology, the FlexEfficiency 50 plant will allow us to improve supply side energy efficiency and reach emission reduction challenges,” said Ricardo Cordoba, regional president and CEO of GE Energy.

GE introduced its FlexEfficiency 50 plant at an event in Paris on May 25 of this year as the flagship product of its FlexEfficiency portfolio, which now includes three ecomagination-qualified power technologies, including the world’s first Integrated Renewables Combined-Cycle Power Plant and the FlexAero LM6000-PH. Less than two weeks later, at Power-Gen Europe, GE announced that Turkish project developer MetCap had selected the technology for the world’s first integrated renewables combined-cycle power plant, to be built in Karaman, Turkey. In addition, GE commercial partners Harbin Electric in China and Toshiba Electric in Japan also have announced plans to introduce the product.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at

GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Management and GE Oil & Gas—work together with more than 100,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs. 

About the FlexEfficiency 50 Plant

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For more information, contact:

Frank Farnel

GE Energy

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Laura Aresi

GE Energy 

+39 02 67 33 56 22 

Selene Alford

Hopscotch Europe In One

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