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6 February 2019

General Electric: €50m earmarked for reindustrialisation

On 5 February, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy and Finance, and Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister of State, attached to the Minister of Economy and Finance, convened a monitoring committee with the Management of the General Electric (GE) Group for the purposes of drawing up an end-of-2018 assessment of the pledges that the company made on acquiring Alstom's energy business.
 
GE reported to the ministers that it has honoured its commitments. The investments made in France represent nearly €1bn. GE has recruited 3,000 people over the past three years, resulting in the creation of 25 net new jobs by the end of 2018.

However, with conditions on the energy market and the quickening energy transition severely limiting the gas turbine market, it has not been possible to reach the target of 1,000 net new jobs.

Against this backdrop and in line with its pledges, GE has confirmed the creation of a €50m reindustrialisation fund, which will be held at Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC). This fund will be overseen by a committee chaired by an industry specialist and bringing together, alongside the company's appointed representatives, the local authorities concerned, particularly the town of Belfort, and government departments.

GE also underscored its long-term development intentions in France, not least in the renewable energy sector.

In this regard, the plans to incorporate the electricity grid business within the renewable energy division (40,000-strong workforce, €14bn in revenue) will help to shore up the location in France of the decision centres concerning these business lines, especially where offshore wind power is concerned.

Finally, GE and the ministers agreed on the need to keep this monitoring committee going in the future as a forum for dialogue between the State and the company.