In a move intended to create a new global player in the $100 billion and growing transmission and distribution industry, GE and and XD Electric Group have formed a new partnership to deliver a full line of electric transmission and distribution and grid automation products to the world market.

The three major components of the partnership are: creation of a global partnership to combine GE’s grid automation and service capabilities with XD Electric’s portfolio of primary power equipment to offer a range of integrated transmission and distribution solutions, establishment of a joint venture with XD Electric to offer customers in China localised grid automation solutions; and GE’s purchase of a 15 percent equity stake in XD Electric and appointment of a representative to the XD board of directors.

In the T&D segment, GE is a provider of grid automation systems but brings to the partnership its global reach and various related areas of expertise in utility and energy-intensive industries such as oil and gas, metals and mining.

XD Electric, which is traded on the Shanghai stock exchange, specialises in the research, application, development and manufacture of high and ultra-high voltage T&D equipment. It is one of China’s largest primary equipment providers and has a broad range of products to transform and control the flow of power.

Globally, T&D is an industry with strong growth prospects tied to the rise in electricity demand as middle-class populations grow around the world. China represents approximately a quarter of the T&D industry’s projected expansion and is a leader in the deployment of high and ultra-high voltage technology. Over the next decade, China plans to invest $600 billion in its electrical infrastructure.

The formation of the partnership remains subject to regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. GE and XD Electric expect that the partnership will be able to begin operations in 4Q 2012.