Achieving a series of firsts in technology, customer services and the development of local talent, the Dammam-based GE Energy Manufacturing Technology Center has successfully completed its first year of operations.
The Saudi technology Center achieved key milestones in the delivery of service technology to Saudi and global customers, enabling enhanced operational efficiencies along the entire energy value chain, while continuing to drive the development of Saudi human resources. These achievements are in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2020 goals of promoting localization and empowering national talent towards a knowledge-based economy.
As GE’s largest energy facility of its kind today, the GE Energy Manufacturing Technology Center marked a SAR 1 billion (US$250 million) investment by GE, underlining the company’s long-term commitment to the Kingdom.
Joseph Anis, President and CEO for GE Energy in the Middle East said: “Not only is the Center a fulfillment of our promise of better service through localized technology to our customers, it is testament to our long-term commitment to the Kingdom. Through the Center, GE is proud to be serving the technology and service needs of its long-term customers including Saudi Electricity Company, Saudi Aramco, Marafiq and SABIC. We are also proud of the Center’s focus on technical talent development to support the Kingdom’s growing energy infrastructure and further establish the Kingdom as a technology hub for the global energy industry.”
To complement the human development goal outlined in Saudi Vision 2020, the facility is employing about 400 technologists and training another 100 under the Saudi GE Joint Technical Program (JTP). Program 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 60 percent Saudization has been achieved to date at the technology Center.
In its first year, the Center has serviced 450 gas turbines that power the Kingdom, with GE today supporting the generation of half of the Kingdom’s electricity through over 500 turbines installed at various sites. The Center also extended service to more than 50 key customers based in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East, Africa and Europe, underling its competencies to help local and global customers achieve operational efficiencies with advanced and localized technology and services.
A joint venture with Ali A. Tamimi Co, the Center consists of three key main components: a manufacturing facility of high technology equipment for the power, water and oil and gas industries; a service and repair center for advanced turbine equipment; and a training center that offers the latest technology and managerial courses for college students, field engineers and other power industry professionals throughout the region. Recently, GE signed another strategic partnership agreement with TVTC that will train annually 150 select Saudi technical graduates in the GE Energy Manufacturing Technology Center.