GE prez visit to Japan may start speculation


General Electric’s President Jeffery Immelt was in Tokyo Monday to speak to officials from Tepco and Hitachi. GE constructed one of the six reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. It built two others jointly with Toshiba Corp. Toshiba built two on its own and Hitachi made one.

Immelt said GE would donate up to $10 million to Japan for humanitarian support.

The history of Japan’s entire electrical industry is intimately linked with GE, as they have been supplying technology to the Japanese power generating industry for a long time. GE was founded in 1892 by Thomas Edison and shortly thereafter they established business relations with Japan. Much of the technology that power Japan’s electrical generation was developed by GE or is produced under license from them.

The Japanese government has yet to articulate their plan for replacing the massive losses to Japan’s electrical generation capacity due to the earthquake and tsunami. Immelt’s visit is bound to start speculation that Japan will welcome foreign investment in its power industry to help the expensive and challenging task of rebuilding Japan’s grid.

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