GE and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Launch Research Initiative to Support Saudi Arabia Fuel Diversification Objectives

Published May 25th, 2010 - 08:43 GMT

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and GE (NYSE:GE) today announced an agreement to establish a new fuel research center to be located on the University grounds in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.


The GE Energy Fuel Research Center will focus on furthering the understanding of alternative fuels produced in Saudi Arabia and identify ways to overcome technical barriers and promote the use and distribution of these fuels. The program is expected to further the region’s capabilities for maximizing the utilization of alternative fuels and increase fuel efficiency for power plant and refinery applications.  Increasing power generation efficiency and decreasing fuel consumption is vital to promoting energy sustainability and supporting the Kingdom’s national development strategy.  


The announcement was made during a signing ceremony attended by John Krenicki, GE Vice Chairman and President and CEO of GE Energy; His Excellency Dr. Khaled Bin Saleh Al Sultan, Rector and CEO of KFUPM, , accompanied by senior KFUPM, Aramco and GE officials.


“The GE Energy Fuel Research Center reflects the University’s objectives to partner with leading global companies like GE, to develop groundbreaking initiatives that can support the Kingdom’s industrial growth and development, and contribute to fulfilling the Kingdom’s national development strategy,” said HE Dr. Khaled S. Al Sultan, KFUPM Rector and CEO.  “Fuel flexibility and efficiency can be a cornerstone for the continuing growth of the energy industry, a key component for a diversified and prosperous Saudi economy. Initiatives and commitments, such as the ones made by GE today, can go a long way toward achieving a sustainable energy future for the Kingdom,” added Dr. Al Sultan.


Through the center, which is due to open later this year, GE will work collaboratively with KFUPM to research and develop advanced fuel management solutions to meet the various fuel efficiency and utilization objectives of the Kingdom.


“At GE, we believe that investing in advanced technologies today is vital to meeting the energy needs of the future. The establishment of the GE Energy Fuel Research Center at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals also reflects Saudi Arabia’s growing public-private partnerships and commitment to researching and developing technologies that support responsible energy growth. The center not only aspires to advance research and development in the field of innovative petroleum technologies, but it will also showcase the region as a global leader in the utilization of alternative oils for power generation,” said John Krenicki, GE Vice Chairman and President and CEO of GE Energy.


To date, much of GE’s research into fuel flexibility is based at the company’s gas turbine manufacturing complex in Greenville, South Carolina, as well as GE’s Global Research Centers. The Dhahran center marks GE’s first major initiative to focus on fuel flexibility research in the Middle East.

To help customers enhance fuel utilization, reduce fuel costs and maximize revenues, GE has developed versatile gas turbines that can operate on a variety of fuels. These fuels include gases ranging from hydrogen to low-ranked steel industry furnace gases, liquids ranging from light distillates to heavy residuals from refining operations, and a variety of syngases.


As part of GE’s knowledge-sharing commitment to Saudi Arabia and the region, GE is collaborating with several Saudi Arabian educational institutions, including King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, to develop academic programs that feature targeted curriculums, internships and cooperative learning experiences at GE centers around the world and in the Kingdom.


In Saudi Arabia, GE is making an US$80 million investment to develop the GE Energy Manufacturing Technology Center, a 10,000 square meter facility, which will be GE’s largest repair Center of Excellence worldwide and will strengthen GE’s service capabilities in Saudi Arabia and the region.


Featuring a workforce of more than 700 employees and building on a 70-year successful heritage, GE supports major infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia by supplying power generation and water management technology solutions to help the country meet its energy and environmental goals.

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