GE to develop, sell imaging scanners in Russia
General Electric (GE) and two Russian companies have signed a framework agreement to form joint ventures that will help modernize the country’s healthcare and power generation sectors by localizing technology, manufacturing and expertise. Financial details of the transactions were not disclosed.

Under the framework agreement, GE, government corporation Russian Technologies (Rostekhnologii) and Inter RAO UES JSC intend to form a joint venture to manufacture, assemble, sell and service gas-fired power generation turbines in Russia. GE and Russian Technologies also will seek to form a joint venture to manufacture, assemble, sell and service medical diagnostic equipment in Russia.

The healthcare joint venture is expected to start with production of CT scanners, then expand to other diagnostic equipment such as angiographs, MRI, ultrasound, digital x-ray, PET, gamma cameras and medical devices, GE said. The joint venture may use the recently established joint GE Healthcare-Medical Technologies’ CT scanner assembly facility in Moscow. In May 2010, GE Healthcare installed in a Moscow hospital the first Russian-assembled 16-slice CT scanner, and through the end of November, it had been used to perform more than 2,000 exams.

Healthcare components initially will be sourced from GE, shifting later to local production by qualified Russian suppliers in keeping with GE’s requirements for design specifications and intellectual property protection.

The government plans to spend more than $15 billion from 2011 to 2013 on healthcare. GE estimates Russian demand today for CT scanners at 3,000 units.

“The medical joint venture, meanwhile, could make a substantial contribution toward modernizing Russia’s healthcare system. Establishing production in Russia will facilitate not only the transfer of modern technology and local sourcing of components, but timely and quality service, as well as the creation of a wide regional system for the preparation of specialists,” said Russian Technologies’ Deputy General Director Dmitry Shugayev.

Russian Technologies and Inter RAO UES JSC will each hold a 25 percent stake in the energy joint venture. Russian Technologies will also hold a 50 percent stake in the healthcare joint venture. GE will hold 50 percent of each joint venture. GE will exercise operational control over the joint ventures, with joint decisions by the partners on strategic matters.