Developing World Focus Lifts Alstom

on July 21, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Rebounding orders in the electric transmission grid business sector of infrastructure giant Alstom led a broader extension of the company’s order book in the power sector after an extended period of weak sales due to the recession.

Alstom reorganized on June 15, 2011 into new business groups and joined up with Russian and Chinese companies in partnerships designed to boost its profile in the developing world economies making large infrastructure investments.

Alstom, based in France, joined up with Shanghai Electric in April to build boilers for coal-fired power plants and in May joined with Russian firms to produce and engineer equipment for high-voltage electricity transmission in that country.

The company wrapped up its eventful second quarter by buying 40% of AWS Ocean Energy, a Scottish wave energy technology development company positioned in what US firms have identified as a growing market.

“Together with tidal energy and offshore wind, [the AWS acquisition] complements Alstom’s existing ocean activities while further reinforcing Alstom’s position as a leading supplier of clean energy solutions,” the company said in releasing its second-quarter 2011 earnings.

For more on the European wave energy market and US companies’ involvement, see: The Incoming Tide Of Wave Energy.

Renewable power equipment orders in the newly reorganized company hit 900 million euro ($1.3 billion), building on increased orders of projects in the separate Thermal Power unit that added up to 2.8 billion euros ($3.92 billion).

The company books sales and orders separately, and said that although sales had continued to fall as the economic decline reverberated into the first months of 2011, order backlogs had grown to 47 billion euro, or 28 months of sales, by June 30, 2011.

“During the quarter, emerging countries continued to drive the demand for new power equipment,” Alstom said.

New orders included sales of oil shale and coal plants in Estonia and Malaysia, as well as sales to Mexican and Singaporean companies. The main order in renewable power came from a contract for Brazilian wind farms.