The new 43,000m2 facility is located at an industrial centre 15km outside Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province in southeast China. It will be used by GE to manufacture hydro turbines, generators and other hydro components for its customers in China and worldwide.

A previous factory was located in the city’s downtown section of Xiaoshan, Hangzhou, 180km southeast of Shanghai, but GE moved its 558 employees and most of its office equipment into its new facility in late May 2005.

The Hangzhou facility implements the principles of lean manufacturing and ‘zero inventory’. For example, in the previous location, GE’s generator bar and pole manufacturing lines were split into different places. In the new factory, the lines have been combined into one. GE has tripled the number of numerically controlled (NC) machines, and incorporates various best practices from its hydro facilities in Canada and Norway. GE now manufactures more core components in-house.

The new facility is already supporting several major contracts, including the three unit, 550MW Pubugou Francis turbines project and the four unit, 35MW Xixiayuan Kaplan complete turbines and generators project.

Hangzhou’s grand opening ceremony featured numerous Chinese dignitaries and GE executives and was part of a two-day series of events to showcase GE’s new hydro power equipment manufacturing and service capabilities. The activities included a hydro technology symposium, focused on the latest developments in the industry, a dedication ceremony and plant tours.