Electric heavyweights GE Energy, Fairfield, Conn., and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have agreed to work together to develop what they are calling the next generation of steam-turbines for gas-fired combined-cycle plants. In January, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to pool their knowledge in order to make the steam turbine technology more efficient. "There are potentials to push the boundaries beyond where we are in terms of efficiencies in operating parameters and start-up capabilities," says Trevor Bailey, general manager of steam products for GE Energy. The memorandum provides "a significant benefit over what we could achieve individually." Bailey says the two companies are currently working out details and a timetable on how they will move forward. The memorandum allows the companies to share the cost burdens of developing the new turbines, Bailey says. GE and MHI also say they are considering co-development of a steam turbine for nuclear power applications.