Key industry insiders give their thoughts on the lasting impact of COVID-19, other topics
Editor’s Note: Diesel & Gas Turbine Worldwide asked officials at key companies within the large engine and turbine industries to weigh in on a series of questions intended to provide a high-level view of the conditions, challenges and opportunities they see in the marketplace. This story first appeared in the Autumn issue of the magazine.
The magazine would like to thank Scott Strazik, president and CEO of GE Gas Power; Jaakko Eskola, CEO of Wärtsilä; Karim Amin, CEO of the Generation Division of Siemens Gas and Power; Norbert Nusterer, president, Power Systems, Cummins; and Dominique Malenfant, chief technical Officer, Wabtec, for their time and insights.
Q: The Covid-19 pandemic upended a lot of business planning and forced companies to make many painful decisions quickly. Can you discuss a decision your company made that was particularly difficult?
Amin: The COVID-19 pandemic quickly spread around the globe at an enormous pace and hit country by country with different levels of intensity. Governments reacted quickly and imposed various mitigations, from a complete lock-down to travel restrictions, quarantine regulations, curfews and hygienic rules. This all was done to protect the health and safety of the people and minimize fatalities caused by the virus. Siemens Energy is operating in almost every country in the world and our regional management responsibly introduced the necessary mitigating measures in our offices, factories and other work sites. This was done with the clear focus being to protect our own employees. In a very few cases we decided to close either an office, a factory or a site temporarily and of those the majority have either re-opened or are in the process of re-opening. Those were difficult business decisions but necessary for the wellbeing and protection of our staff. Thankfully, we have so far encountered only a very limited number of confirmed cases which in hindsight proves that those decisions were the right ones
Malenfant: The pandemic forced every company and industry to evaluate business plans and practices. First and foremost is safety, we changed the way our employees worked. We implemented enhanced measures to facilitate healthy and clean working environments. The measures included screening at plants; leveraging technology to enable some employees to work from home; increased deep cleaning; and implementing additional personal protective equipment, like masks and much more. As society returns to work, we are focus on implementing new working arrangements and measures to maintain social distancing.
Nusterer: One of our large assembly plants for diesel gensets is in Wuhan, which meant that we were right at the center of the original outbreak in January. At that point, no one knew how serious this virus was and how long it would impact our supply chain. We take great pride in keeping our employees and their families safe in challenging circumstances. With that in mind, we made very fast operational decisions in China, India, the UK and the US to ensure the well-being of our workforce around the world. We worked collaboratively with our regional supply chain partners to continue supporting customers on critical deliveries. Looking back, I feel extremely good about how our local and global teams made those decisions in the face of so much uncertainty.
Eskola: Our number one priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees and external stakeholders. After that, we aim at maintaining business continuity and delivering the best possible support to our customers.
We are actively following the evolution of the crisis and this requires that we also constantly re-assess and update our action plans based on different possible recovery scenarios.
The most difficult decision so far has been the implementation of selective temporary layoffs and worktime reductions as part of the initiatives to achieve €100M in short-term cost savings in order to mitigate the economic impact of this crisis. This has been painful, but absolutely necessary to safeguard our future.
Strazik: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every industry with ours being no different. However, our responsibility has perhaps never been greater as the world is counting on access to reliable, affordable, and accessible electricity to power not just our homes and businesses, but also our hospitals, critical infrastructure, and the manufacturing needed to respond to this crisis. And our customers—utilities and power generators across the world—are depending on us to provide critical parts, service, and support outages at their power facilities to ensure electricity is delivered to their customers during this time.
Unfortunately, we’ve had to make some tough decisions with our customers to move approximately 20 percent of our outages from the first half of 2020 to the second half of the year—primarily due to the inability to transport the critical parts and labor needed to perform the work given international, national, and local restrictions. While nearly all of this important work will still be done in 2020, a change in plans can make things difficult for our customers. Ultimately, making tough decisions becomes easier when everyone in the organization has a singular “North Star.” At GE, it’s safety. Everything starts with safety for us, beginning with our employees and extending to the safety of our customers, suppliers, and all those we work with. This has become even more pronounced during Covid-19 and certainly came into play when making this decision.
Q: Has the impact of Covid-19 made your company reassess it supply chain in any way?
Malenfant: As a normal part of business, we regularly look at our supply chain to ensure the company has the component availability, flexibility, cost and quality to best serve our customers.
Amin: As we are operating a global business with offices and factories around the world, we are depending to a high degree on a fully functioning supply and logistics chain. In order to fulfill our commitments towards our customers, be it the supply of our own manufactured products out of our factories or goods directly shipped from our suppliers to customer sites, we are continuously monitoring our supply and logistics chain. In particular air traffic was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Our teams from supply chain management are in continuous and close contact with our suppliers, monitoring the progress and timely delivery of goods as well as supporting them in keeping their factories open. The commitment of our teams around the globe is outstanding; in total we constantly monitor around 2,800 suppliers worldwide. In a very few cases when suppliers went into financial difficulties, we were able to help them or identify alternate suppliers to safeguard our supply chain and serve our customers in a timely manner. We have long lasting relationships with many of our suppliers and these partnerships were further strengthened during the crisis.
As far as our logistics chain is concerned, we are constantly monitoring the shipments of goods and had to alter ways of transportation frequently, e.g. from air transport (which was the biggest concern during the crisis) towards ground or sea transport. Having said that, we will apply lessons learned from the COVID-19 experience to our supply chain and logistics where needed.
Strazik: COVID-19 is a reinforcement of principles we were already operating with across GE’s supply chain today. First, we believe it is imperative to have multiple sources for our critical equipment, parts, and labor to best support our customers. Second, having the right partners—from customers, engineering, procurement, and construction (EPCs) firms, transportation experts, and more is everything. And finally, communication is the key to a successful supply chain, now more than ever. We’ve found if we optimize for redundancy, resiliency, and understanding—coupled with frequent communication—our challenges become easier to address and solve.
Nusterer: We entered this crisis with a very strong regional supply chain with global capabilities but have made adjustments due to COVID-19. In the short-term we have maintained an uninterrupted supply to critical markets and applications. In the long-term we will need to adopt important learnings from this crisis. We already have a distributed supplier and manufacturing network which gives us four mature and largely regional hubs (US, Europe, India, China) with an ability to move production to different facilities if necessary. We can make this even more resilient going forward.
We were able to shift volumes from our alternator factory in China to Romania in a matter of days early in the crisis. In the later stages we expanded the output in China to compensate for shutdowns in India, which impacted industry production there. Standard processes and integrated global quality systems allow us to make these changes quickly to support our customers. Going forward, we will continue to work to reduce instances where we are single-sourced and some test capacity bottlenecks, which tripped us up in the last few months.
Finally, we are concerned about the growing tensions between the US and China. As a US company which has participated in China for over 50 years successfully, we have learned firsthand that we bring value by working together.
Eskola: Our teams have increased their engagement with our supply chain partners in order to minimize the impact that COVID-19 could have on our deliveries. We have thus far faced only limited supply chain disruptions and we are also identifying alternative operating models and implementing proactive risk mitigation actions, including buffer stocks of spare parts, to manage disruptions going forward.
Wärtsilä’s ability to deliver on customer commitments have been secured to a large extent.
Q: What do you think will be the biggest change in the way your company does business post-COVID?
Strazik: There is no doubt that COVID-19 will have an impact on how we work, be it in an office setting or in the field while performing work for our customers. In some areas, this is easier to predict: no doubt the flexibility for people to perform their work from home—when possible—will be more both encouraged and more prevalent. We are seeing an enhanced role for digital technologies—such as virtual inspections—to reduce on-site personnel or limit travel, playing a new role in keeping our people safe while still conducting critical work in the field. Difficult challenges and situations are proving grounds for innovation, and I have no doubt we will see that in the ways we work.
Eskola: It is too early to say, but we definitely acknowledge that the world will be different after Covid-19. Our focus is on keeping our offering and operating model future proof. This crisis has shown how agile and creative our global team can be in running business, and we need to instill all the learnings for the “new normal”.
There will for sure be increased emphasis on data-driven remote support and rapid adoption of eg. fleet monitoring solutions. We have successfully demonstrated how even testing and validation, as well a signing major contracts can be done virtually. In surprisingly many cases physical presence is no longer a prerequisite. So, travel will certainly decrease thanks to the new online tools and capabilities. And this will free up time for something else.
I also believe that demand for an as-a-service offering will increase, perhaps even with a risk-sharing model. After all, most of our energy and marine customers prioritize reliability and efficiency in their relationship with us.
Malenfant: One thing we have learned during the lockdowns is that remote working will be more prevalent in the future. The technology today makes it possible. During the pandemic, we were able to conduct work efficiently even remotely. But it will not completely replace the in-office experience.
As employees return to the office, it will be a different working environment. The company is putting measures in place to facilitate social distancing in the workplace. The return to work will include greater desk spacing, rotating ‘in-office” shifts, training, more personal protective equipment and cleaning materials. These moves will help promote a safe environment for employees and prevent the spread of illnesses.
Nusterer: We are relying on collaboration more than ever. It can be challenging to organize virtual ways to quickly solve intense problems. It’s not as much about adapting to the technology, but rather how we interact as humans. At least some of this collaboration technology we’re using will permanently change the way we operate. It will affect how we engage with customers, how we recruit talent, how we develop products in complex teams and countless other aspects of running a global business.
Amin: During the COVID-19 pandemic we are putting our utmost focus on the wellbeing and protection of our staff. No effort was, or is being, spared to protect the health and safety of our employees being it in our offices, in our factories or at our customer sites. Wherever possible our office staff works from home and travel (in particular international travel) is reduced to the absolute minimum, in large part also due to travel- and visa restrictions in various countries. Furthermore, we change the way of working in our factories by maintaining stringent hygienic rules and distancing. This forces us during the pandemic crisis to change our way of working, moving even more towards digitalization. I am convinced that we will not fully return to the pre-COVID-19 way of working in our global business. Personal meetings (either internal or with customers) will be done more often via video conferencing and the number of business trips is expected to go down significantly. A growing number of field service jobs will be performed using remote technologies, which have been further developed and improved during the crisis. This will not only reduce our cost base and make us more competitive in the market but furthermore will increase productivity and speed when performing customer jobs and it will open completely new fields of business opportunities. Above all, the importance of our business to the sustainability of our entire society was very evident during the crisis. While many activities were shut down, keeping the power plants running and ensuring security of supply of electricity was, without a doubt, system critical.
Q: Demands to address climate change are growing across industries. How is the trend toward more stringent regulation and public pressure to be greener impacting your company and products?
Malenfant: Wabtec has a history of driving environmentally focused innovations that pushed the envelope in the rail and transit industries. But we can do more and are focused on the next generation eco-friendly technologies. Wabtec is continuing to create products that significantly reduce energy consumption, provide fuel efficiency, eliminate waste, and promote re-use through solutions like our new battery-electric locomotive, efficient engines, modernization program, additive, digitization and the advancements we are making on green technology across Transit. These are exciting products and services that provide tremendous environmental benefits, while delivering results that positively impact our customers’ bottom line.
Eskola: In the energy business the beauty is that in more and more countries the massive introduction of renewables in power systems is no longer only led by stringent environmental regulations or by public pressure to reduce emissions. Today there is a solid business-case, as solar and wind energy have actually become more cost-effective than traditional baseload power generation, such as coal. The actual energy-mix during the crisis has made this shift evident in many countries.
To facilitate this rapid integration of renewables into the systems in a sustainable and reliable way, there is increased need for balancing power generation solutions to handle the intermittency of renewables. Wärtsilä’s truly flexible technologies, such as internal combustion engine plants and battery energy storage systems are ideal to provide these features.
In the marine industry, Wärtsilä is committed to providing technological solutions to enable vessels to clearly reduce their environmental footprint. Our dual-fuel engines are today ready to operate on LNG, with up to 20% lower GHG emissions. We are investing into R&D to ensure our engines can operate with next-generation carbon-neutral fuels like green ammonia and green hydrogen, creating a transition path for ship owners to meet future decarbonization targets and regulations. It is noteworthy that lot can be achieved by optimizing fleet operations. At Wärtsilä, we have increased our capabilities to provide technologies, which help the crews operate their vessels safely and efficiently, assisted by real time data analytics.
Strazik: GE has never stopped investing in the creation of more flexible, efficient, and reliable gas power generation products and solutions. And the results speak for themselves – our HA technology has been recognized with two world records for efficiency with 62.22% combined-cycle net efficiency (at EDF Bouchain in 2016 with a 9HA.01) and 63.08% combined-cycle gross efficiency (at Chubu’s Nishi Nagoya in 2018 with a 7HA.01). And in 2019, we launched the 7HA.03 which will power the world’s largest, most efficient, and flexible 60 Hz combined cycle plant. In addition to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and driving to 65% efficiency, we believe in a fundamental role for gas to deliver a rapidly decarbonized energy future.
The role of gas in a decarbonized energy future is happening today: our machines consume less fuel while creating more power than any other OEM in this space. Over the last decade, we have invested heavily in combustion technology that today allows us to have the most fuel-flexible advanced gas turbines in the world – for example, all of our gas turbines are capable of burning hydrogen, and our HA turbines today can work with up to a 50% hydrogen/natural gas mix. Further, we have more than 70 gas turbines worldwide using hydrogen and associated fuels for power generation with more than 5 million operating hours. In addition, we continue to invest more time and energy in advancing carbon capture and sequestration. This is in addition to previous investments in decarbonization through both GE and Alstom. For example, Alstom invested in carbon capture prior to the GE’s acquisition, and when combined with GE’s technology we now have more than 140 granted patents and additional active patent applications – we are actively working to apply these solutions to gas applications today. Decarbonization will guide our industry in the coming years, and we see a significant role for gas generation to help lead the way.
Amin: We need to consider that the pressure for decarbonization must be balanced with energy security and affordability for consumers. Hence, we will further develop our existing portfolio with a focus on decarbonization and expand our focus on renewable energy sources. Let me mention two examples: gas turbines will still play a major role contributing to the security of supply in the foreseeable future. We focus on using them with renewable fuels such as “green” hydrogen and therewith fulfilling two advantages for our customers: investment security in a competitive technology which is fit for tomorrow and at the same time contributing to massively reducing their CO2 emissions. The second example is our focus on Power-to-X as a key technology in sector coupling offering the opportunity to transform and save energy from renewable resources in a chemical form for long term storage and use, with e-Hydrogen as the core component. On top of this, we are investing in developing our own decarbonized energy systems offerings that will be a driving force behind the transition of our customers towards the energy systems of the future. Finally, as Siemens Energy, we are also developing strategies for being CO2 neutral in our own operations.
Nusterer: It’s clear that government, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and communities must unite behind swift, decisive action to address the environmental threats we face. Last year we announced our next environmental sustainability strategy, which includes science-based goals that meet or exceed the goals in the United Nations Paris agreement on climate change. By 2050, Cummins is targeting net-zero carbon emissions.
The strategy, called PLANET 2050, is focused on three priority areas: addressing climate change and air emissions, using natural resources in the most sustainable way, and improving communities. It includes eight specific goals, timed to 2030, including the goal to reduce absolute lifetime greenhouse gas emissions from newly sold products by 25%, which is a science-based target.
Cummins will make investments to achieve the goals, which will require new technology and capabilities. The company has a history of developing challenging goals and then finding ways to achieve them.
Since our communities and business depend on a healthier planet, we will take strong action on climate change and work toward a future where we waste nothing and ensure that our communities are better because we are there. Especially since our company has been built around combusting fossil fuels, it is very important for us to clearly state that we want to be a driving force on facilitating climate change and not a passive or even resistant participant in the transition.
Q: In which countries/regions or market segments do you anticipate most demand/growth in the next three to five years, and why?
Amin: We will of course need to see how the economies post COVID-19 will respond in the different regions but let me touch on China, the Middle East and Asia. In China we expect a strong uptake in renewables with an increased demand for gas as the most economical backup technology replacing carbon-intensive and less efficient coal fir
ed steam power plants. This is driven by the increased demand for low emission/pollution technologies – mostly renewables – to achieve the targeted emission requirements. Moreover, we believe that this market could benefit from a moderate gas price which will accelerate the coal to gas shift.
In the Middle East, we see an increasing pace towards industrialization and integration of large amounts of renewable energy in the region leading to opportunities in decentralized power generation, grid stability and energy storage. There are also a few countries that will be focused on rebuilding their energy system infrastructure to stimulate economic development and we are well positioned to play an active role there.
For Asia, in particular Japan and Taiwan, the retirement of nuclear power and the shift to highly efficient combined cycle power plants and combined heat and power applications is expected to continue to create demand in the foreseeable future. Decentralized power generation applications and midsize peaker plants are also in demand.
Strazik: Asia is one of the most promising geographic segments for gas power. The growth in liquified natural gas (LNG) supply in the world is expected to grow by nearly 20 percent in the next five years. Much of this LNG will be liquified in places including North America/Qatar/Australia and sent to Asia. Power density matters throughout the world – but in no place is this greater magnified in importance than in Asia, where in many places there sim
ply isn’t excess land. Asia requires cleaner, power-dense electrical generation, and – no question – gas is the solution.
Malenfant: We believe there is opportunities in the international markets. The Russia/CIS market, with its large aging locomotive fleet, has tremendous potential. We are providing more than Evolution Series 160 engines in that region and 300 shunters featuring our new high-speed engine. There also is a market for locomotives under 18 tons per axle in markets like Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa.
Nusterer: Power supply for data centers has had a strong growth trajectory for several years and the pandemic will only accelerate the reliance on online infrastructure. This is a global phenomenon but with different adoption rates and schedules. We also see a continued growth trend in distributed generation solutions and the inevitable need for more grid balancing solutions of different characteristics – especially as the penetration rates of renewable energies go beyond 30 to 40 percent of any given grid environment. Finally, a carbon-free world will require the transformation and storage of unprecedented amounts of energy between the original generation and final consumption
. We see ample growth opportunities for some of our recent fuel cell, electrolysis and electrification investments. These are all global trends but developed markets with progressive climate-oriented regulatory frameworks will see this growth first. While exact timelines and country mix are still somewhat unknown, these are the new megatrends which will dominate the next one to two generations.
Eskola: In the energy markets, those western countries where the renewable power increase is most visible will need to reassess the viability of the traditional, inflexible baseload capacity. There are also countries for instance in Latin America and South East Asia where economic growth drives the demand for increased production capacity. Also, the anticipated stimulus packages across the world to support recovery from the COVID-19 recession will partly be targeted at green growth. This will spur the demand for cleantech solutions in many geographies.
In the marine markets, oil tankers are currently enjoying high day rate earnings because of increased supply of oil and growing utilization as floating storage. Owners may divert some of those profits into capital investments in new vessels and retrofitting existing vessels with more energy-efficient technologies. The accelerating decarbonization will increase demand for vessels capable of using LNG as a fuel, since the technology is mature and there is
bunkering infrastructure to support it on certain routes. From a regional perspective, China was the first to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, and the first to show signs of recovery. Chinese and Asian owners more broadly are well-positioned to generate demand for new shipbuilding in response to reduced shipyard pricing.
Q: From a technology standpoint, what’s the greatest challenge your company faces in the next five years and what do you see as the greatest opportunity?
Eskola: The main challenge is the very foggy short-term visibility, and we need to maneuver based on multiple market scenarios. In the coming months we must continuously adjust our operations and ways of working based on customer needs.
One of the main opportunities is the development and application of synthetic fuels; especially for land-based power generation, but also for ships. We have researched hydrogen as a fuel for 20 years and tested engines with blends of up to 60% hydrogen and 40% natural gas. It is now our target to develop the combustion process of our gas engines to enable them to burn 100 % hydrogen fuel.
Marine traffic is under great pressure to decarbonize, and we are committed to support our customers through this transition. We aim to provide a clear path for shipowners building vessels today to ensure their assets can continue to operate under the stricter emission regulations of the future. We are progressing well in minimizing the methane slip of dual-fuel engines and working hard on deploying data collection aboard vessels at sc
ale. These activities will pay off in securing shipping is the most environmental form of transport in the future.
Strazik: Our greatest challenge is in fact also the greatest opportunity: a world that needs to accelerate progress towards a decarbonized future. Gas will play a critical role with that. In North America alone as an example, demand for electricity has been relatively flat over the last decade, but carbon emissions from power generation is down more than 25%. About 60% of that carbon reduction is from coal-to-gas switching, with the rest from the growth of renewable energy technologies. We believe similar dynamics will play out in other regions around the world.
Continuing to enable this acceleration of a decarbonized future is one of our greatest opportunities. At the same time, the path to a ‘zero-carbon’ world is far from clear or economical. I believe that helping the world navigate an optimal path to widespread, rapid de-carbonization with feasible economics is both a massive challenge and opportunity.
Nusterer: The pressure for continued emissions reductions and TCO improvements is relentless. Our challenge is continuing to improve product performance from fuel economy, to emissions, to noise in a way that is economical and that enables customers to build their businesses while improving the quality of life for people through a better environment.
We will innovate and provide the right products and leading service for such an environment. We see continued opportunity with natural gas and recently launched an industry leading 2MW natural gas generator series – the HSK78G. It features low NOx emissions and can capitalize on a wider range of low-cost and free-fuel sources, including flare gas, landfill gas, biogas and coal mine methane without sacrificing power output and efficiency. This year we expanded our capability in gas power generation with the launch of the C25G, a high-efficiency gas generator series offering a total package of gas generator capabilities and innovative gas technology for prime and peaking power applications. The C25G is engineered to deliver superior fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance costs per kWh. All these products deliver more power in a cleaner way for less investment. That is what our customers want.
We are investing in new technologies, and the landscape of possible substitute technologies is expansive. For example, in Europe we are providing hydrogen fuel cell solutions for powering passenger trains. With a range of up to 1000 kilometers per each hydrogen tank fueling, the fuel cell train matches the miles per fueling performance of conventional regional trains, with lower environmental impact and lower noise levels w
hile having a top speed of 140 kilometers per hour.
Malenfant: The biggest challenge is ensuring we are invested in the right technologies to grow the business and solve our customers’ challenges. We are focused in the areas five key areas that offer the greatest opportunity – energy management (i.e. – battery technology, high-speed engines and engine upgrades), automation, additive technology, digital ecosystem enablement and sustainability technologies in Transit. These technologies are expanding our leadership in the rail industry. They also provide our customers solutions that decrease operating expenses and dwell time, as well as improve velocity, reliability and environmental performance.
Amin: The market requirements on price, performance and emissions remain quite high. There is a technology race in the industry that is running at a very high pace. On the other hand, the market for fossil fired central generation has reduced whereas the requirement for decentral power generation is growin
g. The challenge here is around R&D budget allocations. If the market and the policy makers expect a certain level of product quality, then there needs to be sufficient volume and / or other factors to support the necessary R&D funding.
In our business, geopolitical instabilities, trade barriers and crises like COVID-19 play a major role and pose their own set of short-term challenges.
These challenges also give us the opportunity to utilize the strength of our organization and develop new partnerships to become the leaders in finding the right solutions for our customers and all involved stakeholders.
Q: Looking at both the short- and long-term future of your company, what keeps you up at night?
Malenfant: I believe everyone thinks about the unexpected and uncontrollable external events. This year is a perfect example with the pandemic, which didn’t exist seven months ago. The important thing is focusing on what you can control. Fortunately, Wabtec’s diverse portfolio, large installed base and market-leading technology enables the company to navigate cycles and unexpected events.
Amin: The COVID-19 pandemic crises has shaken the worl
dwide economy in an unprecedented manner and is altering businesses like never before. Siemens Energy always stood side-by-side with our customers and supported them during the crisis. Many of our installations in the power industry as well as in the Oil & Gas business are considered “critical” to their respective countries. With an enormous effort and commitment of our employees we launched the “Keep the Lights On” initiative. We maintained hundreds of inst
allations worldwide, performed necessary services and kept construction of new installations going. I am proud to have such a dedicated team in Siemens Energy and have no doubt that this team will master the challenges that the transition in the energy market will bring us going forward.
Considering the transition we are in ourselves, from being part of Siemens AG into an independent, stock-listed energy company, Siemens Energy, you might imagine that this is an exciting but at the same time challenging task with a lot of work involved to ensure a successful launch and promising future. It is all about value creation and what keeps me focused is positioning our organization to offer genuine benefits to our customers, in both the short- and long-term, with a set up tailored to best serve them in their development towards a new reality in the energy industry. Our entrepreneurial freedom and accountability coupled with strategic investments in R&D, innovation and new growth fields can unlock new potentials and in a way that was not seen before and we want to be the front runners here.
Nusterer: Right at this moment, the health and safety of our 60
000 Cummins employees around the world is incredibly important. I’m thinking about the front-line workers who are in our plants and our development engineers and service technicians who need to go in remote parts of the world. The world has changed a lot recently, and we spend a great deal of energy keeping them safe now and in the foreseeable future. I’m also thinking of our employees working from home, and how we must meet their needs to successfully work remotely while continuing to effectively serve our customers, partners and communities during this challenging time.
In the long-term, it’s how we achieve our mission statement of “Making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world,” especially considering the technology shift our industry has not seen since its creation over 100 years ago. What we mean by that is that we want to help people live their lives and run their businesses every day by operating farms and mines, building and managing infrastructure, moving people, delivering goods to markets, and keeping the internet and other critical aspects of daily life “Always On.” Lasting prosperity requires both operational viability as well as environmental sustainability at the same time – and Cummins Power Systems has unlimited potential to provide more solutions that make that possible.
Eskola: Macro-economic fluctuations and the financial pressures of many of our customers due to COVID-19 is reviewed on daily basis. It is important to find a way to work with customers to ensure they can make the technological investments needed to decarbonize their assets even under the current circumstances.
Even during the crisis, we need live up to our brand purpose to remain the preferred choice for customers, investors and employees. I greatly respect and admire our personnel for their commitment during the past months. While burdened by the cost-savings and travel restrictions, they have stood up to do their jobs and to live up to customer expectations. The talent and capabilities of our people is a critical competitive factor, and further developing those will continue to be a focus area once we have weathered the storm.
Strazik: Protecting, motivating, and continuing to develop the talent and skill of Gas Power employees. There is no substitute for having great people, and I wake up every day determined to keep our employees safe and feeling valued and engaged during this time of both incredible challenge and opportunity.