General Electric Co. signed two major Chinese energy deals on Jan. 18, a day before the country’s president, Hu Jintao, arrived on a state visit to the U.S.

At an energy forum in Washington, GE announced that it would work with China Huadian Corp. on distributed energy combined heat and power projects throughout China.

As part of the five-year partnership with Huadian, China is expected to buy at least 50 gas turbine generator sets from GE. Of the $500 million in expected sales, U.S. exports will account for $350 million, according to GE, whose energy unit, GE Energy, is based in Atlanta.

The company added that exports associated with the partnership could support 2,100 jobs in the U.S., according to a Commerce Department estimate.

GE announced at the energy forum that it will enter into a joint venture with China Shenhua Group to develop and sell coal-gasification technologies.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. If approved by regulators, the venture would begin operating this year.

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As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...