During the past month, Siemens has made several moves that point toward its growing interest in turnkey project business and providing a broader basket of products and services to building owners, developers and investors.
Earlier this week Siemens Financial Services, Inc. (SFS Inc.), Iselin, N.J., the U.S. unit of Siemens' Financial Services division, announced it will be expanding its energy and project finance offering to include infrastructure lending through senior secured and other debt financing solutions, effective immediately. On Dec. 14, Siemens announced its purchase of the Tesla Power & Automation business unit from Integrated Electrical Services (IESC), Houston, one of the nation's largest electrical contractors.
According to the Siemens press release on the Tesla acquisition, the business unit builds “eHouses,” that are metal-fabricated buildings that house medium- and low-voltage electrical switchgear with transformers, battery systems, etc. Upon completion, the eHouses are transported to the customer site.
In that release, Douglas Proudfoot, Siemens Energy Business Segment Manager for MV Package Power Solutions, said, “Using eHouses makes for a simple and quick installation when compared with permanent brick-type buildings. All the electrical equipment is installed in the eHouse at the factory and fully tested prior to shipment. At the site, the eHouse is lifted from the truck, placed on the foundation and the electrical connections are made.”
IESC has long been known for building “assemblies” of systems of electrical products in centralized facilities to later be installed on job-sites in an effort to improve the quality of its installations and save time on job-sites. Many electrical contractors build smaller assemblies such as lighting fixtures with wiring ”whips” or other groups of products for rough-in work, but the eHouse concept apparently takes prefab work to a much grander scale.
The newly acquired business is located in Houston, Texas, where Siemens Energy also has a significant presence in the Houston area with more than 1,500 Houston-based employees. The facility will remain open and will become part of the Siemens Energy Power Distribution Division.
On the SFS expansion, Kirk Edelman, president and chief executive officer, SFS Inc., said in a press release that expanding the company's energy and project finance platform to include infrastructure projects will enable SFS to support the capital needs of project developers, lenders and investors. As part of this expansion of services, Flavio Zelaya has joined SFS as vice president, Infrastructure Finance, and is tasked with spearheading this initiative.
Zelaya has 15 years of structured and corporate finance experience and joins SFS from Dexia Credit Local in New York, where he served as vice president in its project finance origination and structuring team. In that role, Zelaya's principal focus was project finance and acquisition finance transactions in the transportation, social infrastructure, and water and waste sectors.
Siemens also made headlines recently in a Dec. 15 Bloomberg article that said the company is looking at a variety of future options for its Osram Sylvania lighting business, and that those options could include an IPO or sale.