Business Briefs Galore

Boeing/GE/Amazon deal, Schneider Electric, PG&E’s future, and more

So a struggling industrial giant, a 747, and Jeff Bezos all walk in to a bar… I tend to agree with Al Root’s assessment of this mega-deal. It sounds like a cheesy joke, and it could only happen in Paris. General Electric, Boeing, and Amazon struck a unique agreement on June 20. It involves the companies pairing up for 15 converted air freighters.

Forged at the International Paris Air Show, the deal saw Amazon do the honors when it announced a partnership with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease an additional fifteen Boeing 737-800 cargo aircraft. “These fifteen aircraft will be in addition to the five Boeing 737-800’s already leased from GECAS and announced earlier this year. The aircraft will fly in the United States out of the more than 20 air gateways in the Amazon Air network,” GE said in a press release.

In related news, Barron’s also reported earlier this month how GE’s aviation unit is highly coveted because of the company’s recent fluctuation in value, coupled with its undeniable war chest of resources and material. Interesting stuff.

PG&E’s future is complicated and bleak…but will be carried out under a new name. Pacific Gas & Electric took responsibility for the latest California wildfire Tuesday. The fire, which is now contained but had burned more than 2,500 acres last week, was reportedly sparked by a downed utility pole. PG&E said it is investigating the circumstances. As you might know, that’s the least of the company’s problems as it looks to an uncertain future following almost of decade of oversight, disaster, and scandal.

PG&E’s primary investors laid out plans for that future on Monday with a proposed plan of reorganization filed to the U.S. bankruptcy court in San Francisco. The proposal would repurpose $30 billion in capital, including $16-18 billion designated solely for 2017 and 2018 wildfire claims, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The plan would also rename the embattled utility “Golden State Power Light & Gas Co.,” while the parent corporation would be known as “GSPL&G Corp.” GSPLUG, maybe? Or a nod to the state’s most recently successful pro basketball team?

The proposal comes just days after Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom asked lawmakers to create a “liquidity fund” to help utilities deal with the costs of the state’s wildfires, according to Utility Dive. It would not, however, address existing claims.

High stakes at G20. Ahead of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan starting this weekend (June 27-28), during which Presidents Trump and Xi are supposed to meet and discuss possible negotiations regarding the trade war between the United States and China—a group of American CEOs preparing for the summit reached out on their own accord June 20.

The group was headed by chairman/spokesman Jean-Pascal Tricoire, who is the CEO of Schneider Electric. This is the most relevant of the group to EA readers. Bloomberg quotes him in this article. Others at the summit, tangentially related through the use of equipment and/or distribution, include Honeywell, Ford Motor Corp. UPS, Pfizer, and Australian mining firm BHP Group.

Honeywell, forever active in the M&A market, also just teamed up with Denso, the Japanese mobility supplier, to form propulsion systems for electric planes, the companies stated in a June 11 press release. That adds to our growing list of companies interested in the emerging technology of “electric air mobility”.

**Related: two solar panel manufacturers have moved their production to Mexico as a direct result of the trade war.

Grainger Industrial Supply has appointed Gyro as the maintenance and repair provider’s creative agency of record following a competitive review. I also heard a Grainger commercial in Dunkin’ Donuts this morning. Happenstance!

Bludworth more than water. As of June 1, Bludworth Marine LLC, the Texas shipyard vessel repair unit, has relocated its corporate headquarters to Galveston, Texas. The new location is minutes from Bludworth’s 100’x300′ graving dock location and the Port of Galveston Pier 38 dockside location, allowing for quicker response and service. The new 3.5-acre location also includes a 75’x150′ high bay fabrication shop with a 10-ton overhead crane, a complete machine shop, full blast and paint building, a carpenter’s work shop, and outside machinist shops for rotating equipment and pump repairs.

U.S. Well done. U.S. Well Services, Inc., the Houston-based outfit, announced June 25 that it has entered into an agreement with AmeriMex Motor & Controls, a subsidiary of Industrial Service Solutions.  Under the terms of the agreement, AmeriMex will provide electric motors exclusively to USWS as it relates to electric hydraulic fracturing.

U.S. Well Services has utilized these motors on each of its three newbuild electric fracturing fleets deployed in 2019, and is currently constructing a fourth newbuild electric fleet using the motors, which is contracted and expected to begin working in Texas’ Permian Basin in early 2020, where the oil & gas industry is hot right now.

That’s all for this week, folks! Have an excellent Friday and weekend.


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