Mike Barnoski

Mike Barnoski, president of ALSTOM POWER predicts continued volatility in global energy markets. ALSTOM POWER is managing this volatility through diversity and by developing a whole host of technologies and services. Barnoski defines four challenges his company faces "to meet customers changing needs."

Economics is the first challenge-improving the bottom line. The industry must respond to higher efficiencies, capitalize on opportunistic fuels and use of renewable resources, Barnoski said, adding that ALSTOM has invested $600 million in research and development for FY 2001. Investments were made in CFB's, fuel cells and T&D assets.

ALSTOM's transmission and distribution unit has released the latest version of its E-terradealmaker software for the deregulated market. The latest version allows organizations owning generator assets to assess whether it is worthwhile generating electricity to supply load requirements or whether to buy on the open market. The latest release allows a link to the trading market in real time, thereby allowing energy producers to make hour-by-hour decisions about energy production.

The industry has responded to the second challenge of environmental concerns by funding clean coal technology, CO2 reduction and renewables. ALSTOM launched a new turnkey product, Barnoski explained, called "MINI-AQUA" for the 1-15 megawatt hydro market. ALSTOM's goal is to double market share to 30 percent by 2005 in this $350 million annual market.

"Global players will be the best positioned to provide economies of scale necessary to leverage talent and product resources to drive down cost and drive up performance," Barnoski answered in response to the third challenge of resource availability."Regional labor shortages have been overcome by global sourcing and manufacturing." ALSTOM lists offices in 70 countries staffed by 120,000 employees handling 20 percent of the world's installed base of 1,100 gws.

ALSTOM opened a turbine packaging plant for NAFTA and Latin American markets, Barnoski offered as an example of sourcing. ALSTOM power sector is localizing to Houston its industrial turbine packaging operations for the Western Hemisphere. The new centralized operation will include all regional project management, engineering, sales, service and packaging operations.

Customer satisfaction and providing reliable services over an extended period of time sum up the final of four challenges. ALSTOM launched in February 2001, a new internet-based Customer Service Portal so users can obtain information on products and services for upgrading and maintaining over 500 plants. Their goal is to fully integrate service processes with their customers to provide an automated end-to-end solution that will substantially improve efficiency and competitiveness.

Barnoski sees coal as attractive for the near future, with over 50,000 megawatts under consideration for both CFB and conventional pulverized coal. Over the next 10 years, he projects distributed generation accounting for between 7-14% of all additions.