GE Energy's main news at the Hamburg fair was the introduction of a "contractual service agreement" (CSA) for its wind turbines in the European market. "This is a benefit sharing program. GE Wind takes a share in the improved profit," said the company's Gaby Braun. The CSA can take the form of a full service package with an availability guarantee running up to 12 years, which includes as-needed upgrades and performance improvements. Braun admits that on the German market GE is late with such a package. "But it's here now," she states. "We believe this is a very good product for our customers." The CSA package is available in Germany for newly installed GE 1.5 MW turbines. There will be provision "later" for the 2.X series and GE's 3.6 MW offshore machine and "we are working on something for older machines," she states. This is expected to be available in Germany around the end of 2004. GE plans to extend its CSA program into Asia and the Americas "as customer needs and program value in each region become aligned."
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