GE strengthens manufacturing and localization commitment in Saudi Arabia
- Saudi Arabia: Monday, October 01 - 2012 at 16:33
- PRESS RELEASE
Boosting the domestic manufacturing capabilities in Saudi Arabia's energy sector, GE has announced the ground-breaking of the second phase of the company's Manufacturing Technology Center and the inauguration of a new and advanced Pressure Control Facility, both based in Dammam.
A part of GE's 1bn investment in Saudi Arabia, the localization initiative by GE will further strengthen the manufacturing sector of the Kingdom. The agreement to promote SMEs will also lead to indirect job creation for Saudis by driving robust demand for local suppliers and services. Together, the new investment in the energy sector of the Kingdom by GE complements the Saudi Vision 2020 to promote local manufacturing, economic diversification, exports and job creation.
Currently over 170,000 sq ft in area, the second phase will mark the expansion of the Dammam-based technology center by more than double to about 390,000 sq ft. The facility has recently completed its first year of operations, and serves more than 50 customers in the Kingdom, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. In the first year, the Center extended service support to drive the efficiencies of over 450 gas turbines that are central to power generation.
After the expansion, GE's most advanced technology center of its kind will feature five key components: a modern manufacturing facility of high end equipment for the power, water and oil & gas industries; a service and repair center for advanced turbine equipment; a training center that offers the latest technology and managerial courses for college students, field engineers and other power industry professionals throughout the region; a Repair Development Center; and a state-of-the-art high-speed balance facility.
Along with the introduction of new components, the office space of the Center will also be expanded. Both the office space expansion and construction of the high-speed balance facility will be completed next year, while the rest of the components will be completed in phases in 2014.
GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Immelt said: "The expansion of the landmark GE Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam will contribute significantly to enhancing manufacturing and localization in the power sector of Saudi Arabia. Through the second phase investment and the opening of the Pressure Control Facility, we are delivering on our promise to strengthen our investment and partnership commitment to our valued customers in the Kingdom. It will also create jobs for young Saudi professionals and promote the Kingdom's human capital through advanced training on cutting edge technologies. We are delighted to join hands with our long-term partner Saudi Aramco to further develop a Saudi-based supply chain in the manufacturing sector that will promote entrepreneurship among young Saudis."
Steve Bolze, President & CEO, GE Power & Water, added: "One of the significant advantages offered by our new investment is our ability to offer localized design, engineering and repair services for all sectors of the energy industry through active collaboration with our partners. This is of critical value in driving the overall operational efficiencies, and now our partners can benefit from significant time-savings with local cutting edge repair and technical expertise. Additionally, by investing in talent, GE will play a key role in developing a pool of skilled technologists who can partner in meeting the energy sector growth requirements of the Kingdom."
Eng. Ali Saleh Al Barrak, President & CEO of Saudi Electric Company, said: "We have been working closely with GE for nearly four decades and the expansion of the Manufacturing Technology Center will enable us to experience high quality integrated services of gas turbines locally. This will support SEC in meeting the growing electricity need in the Kingdom while furthering Saudi Arabia's ambitions of becoming a technology hub for the energy sector."
• GE Manufacturing Technology Center
With doubling the size of the Manufacturing Technology Center, GE will commence manufacturing of unique gas turbine components locally - five of which are gas turbine skids to power the utilities sector and one is the dresser centrifugal and PD blower that will further enhance operations of power and oil & gas companies.
As the first company to manufacture oil and gas vibration systems in the Kingdom, GE's investment brings it closer to the customers, providing close product management and engineering support. It will also involve the customers in the design and assembly process. The direct benefits to the industry include the provision of local fabrication and machine shops, and boosting the supply chain for feeder industries in addition to reducing cycle time for customers.
The new Repair Development Center will focus on core engineering to develop new repairs procedures by collaborating with international and regional partners. The Center will be strategically aligned with the needs of the Kingdom and the wider Middle East and North Africa region, focusing on power, water and oil & gas repair development processes. It will develop new repairs technology, thus driving localized innovation.
A state-of-the-art high speed balance facility, another key part of the new expansion, is envisaged to be the only facility of its kind in the Kingdom. With an installed fleet of more than 500 GE gas turbines supporting over half the power generation in the Kingdom, the facility will provide advanced repair services that extend the life of the equipment, and boost safety and reliability.
• Pressure Control Facility
The new Pressure Control Facility, located in second Industrial City, will manufacture key equipment such as wellheads, and valves that support the upstream oil & gas sector. The facility, which is API and ISO certified, employs over 75 Saudi professionals in addition to offering training programs for young Saudis.
• Encouraging SMEs in the energy sector
GE's agreement with Saudi Aramco's Wa'ed will further develop and identify opportunities in the Kingdom for local small and medium enterprises. Through the partnership, the aim is to promote a culture of entrepreneurship and energize SMEs by Saudis, as part of a strong supply chain that can potentially meet the requirements of not only Saudi companies but also regional and global businesses.
With access to funding and training, Wa'ed and GE will provide new growth opportunities for young Saudis and establish a robust supply chain for manufacturing in energy and oil & gas in the Kingdom. This partnership could also potentially lead to stronger international collaborations and knowledge transfer that will benefit the Saudi entrepreneurs.
The diverse array of initiatives by GE in the energy sector builds on the company's 80 years of long-term partnerships in the Kingdom. Since supplying the turbo-machinery for its first oil expedition in 1942, GE has been a growth technology partner to Saudi Ararbia. GE is further strengthening its partnership in the Kingdom with the $1bn investment focused on healthcare, energy and innovation. GE's investment complements the Ninth Development Plan and is in line with the Saudi Vision 2020 to further strengthen economic diversification, drive localization and develop the Saudi human capital.
Complementing GE's goal of promoting localized job creation and human capital development, the Dammam-based Manufacturing Technology Center currently employs over 350 technologists and is training more than 100 others under the Technical & Vocational Training Center agreement. The participants are being trained in key areas of maintenance and repair of gas turbines, electrical motors and generators that are critical to the efficient generation of electricity in the Kingdom. Over 50 percent Saudization has been achieved to date at the Center.
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