General Electric (GE) and Hitachi (HIT), in a move anticipating the resurgence of Nuclear Power amid global environmental concerns and electricity demand, have entered into a joint operating agreement.
An audio podcast of this article is available at: poweropt.com/podcasts/2007_07_11_GE.mp3
At a news conference held Monday, John Krenicki, president and chief executive of GE Energy reminded the public of the lack of carbon emissions from nuclear power plants. He stated he believed governments worldwide would begin looking to nuclear power to begin to meet some of their energy generation needs. “We believe nuclear is going to step in and we’re getting ready to execute that plan,” he said.
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He reasoned nuclear energy would be an attractive option for the US if a carbon tax were legislated. This would discourage the production and operation of carbon-producing power plants. Although current data is difficult to find, if historical trends hold, GE will donate between $750,000 and $1 Million this year to politicians.
As part of the new partnership, GE and Hitachi are making plans to spend around $375 million on nuclear plant designs and certification. The Chief Executive of GE Nuclear has publically stated the plant designs are mostly complete and will be completed by 2010.
Hitachi shares GE’s optimism on the future of nuclear power. The company’s president, Masaharu Hanyu has been quoted in news reports, “We are coming together at the right time, at the right place and in the right circumstances”
This is not the first time the two companies have cooperated. They have had partnerships to develop reactors in Asia since the 1980s.The partnership works well as GE has designed water-cooled nuclear power plants since their inception and Hitachi is a world leader in the complex manufacturing of reactor components and large industrial construction.
GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt stated some temperance is appropriate before getting giddy over nuclear power’s future, but in the end it is currently the most viable alternative to carbon emitting processes. “We’ve been in this business for 50 years. We’re not naive about how this changes over time. I would say it’s hard to believe simultaneously in energy security and reduction in greenhouse gases without nuclear power. It’s just intellectually dishonest,” he said.
The United States currently gets about 20 percent of its electricity from nuclear reactors.
Looking at this News from an Options Trading Perspective:
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|Cameco Corp.||CCJ||51.81||CCJIJ||07 SEP 50.0 (74)||4.5||8.7||5.7||5.7|
|Entergy Corp.||ETR||103.92||ETRIA||07 SEP 105.0 (74)||4.2||4||4.2||5.3|
|General Electric Co.||GE||37.9||GEIS||07 SEP 37.5 (74)||1.75||4.6||3.7||3.7|
|Entergy Corp.||ETR||103.92||ETRIT||07 SEP 100.0 (74)||7.1||6.8||3.3||3.3|
|Hitachi Ltd. ADR||HIT||71||HITJN||07 OCT 70.0 (102)||4.2||5.9||4.8||4.8|
Above there are several covered call trades involving companies involved in nuclear power, from production of plants to uranium mining. These trades offer a potential return of 3.3 to 5.7% on September options. Because Hitachi does not offer September options, we looked forward to October and found an attractive trade with 4.8% potential profit and 4.2% downside protection.
Competitors for CCJ include: Rio Tinto plc (RTP), AREVA Group (private), BHP Billiton (private), and USEC Inc. (USU).
Competitors for ETR include: American Electric Power Co. Inc. (AEP), Centerpoint Energy Inc. (CNP), Southern Co. (SO), Cieco Corp. (CNL), and OGE Energy Corp. (OGE).
Competitors for GE include: Citigroup Inc. (C), Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (PHG), Siemens AG (SI), ABB Ltd. (ABB), Ametek Inc. (AME), AO Smith Corp. (AOS), Cooper Industries Inc. (CBE), Color Kinetics Inc. (CLRK), Emerson Electric Co. (EMR), Honeywell Inc. (HON), Itron Inc. (ITRI), Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), Textron Inc. (TXT), and United Techs. Corp. (UTX).
Competitors for HIT include: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (MC), American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC), Emerson Electric Co. (EMR), Electro Scientific Ind (ESIO), Kopin Corp (KOPN), Manitowoc Company Inc. (MTW), Siemens AG (SI), and Veeco Instruments Inc (VECO).
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