Company's investment in localization initiatives builds robust workforce,
technology base, and supply chain
Dammam, Saudi Arabia; March 18, 2014: GE (NYSE: GE) today announced another significant milestone in its 80-year-history of operations in Saudi Arabia. As part of its US$1 billion investment commitment, the company announced that the GE Manufacturing Technology Center expansion, first announced in September 2012, will now feature manufacturing of GE's most advanced, largest, high efficiency gas turbines. The first high efficiency gas turbine will roll out of the Center in 2016, bringing with it new engineering jobs and more opportunities for local suppliers.
Today at a customer reception, GE unfolded its multi-generation plan to continue developing manufacturing capability in the Kingdom and to manufacture its most advanced gas turbines at the Center. The plan is designed to develop local talent and supply chain capabilities, match it with state-of-the-art facilities, and progress the scope, sophistication, and quality of manufacturing at the Center. The expanded facility will create more than 100 direct new technical jobs and many times that through indirect jobs in the local supply chain, and have the capability to produce 8-10 gas turbines per year, with ample room for expansion over time.
Attending the event was Saudi Electricity Company CEO, Eng. Ziyad Al-Shiha, who said: "GE has been a long-term partner of SEC in driving our power plants by providing the latest in turbine technology and after-sales support. The expansion of a local manufacturing facility can potentially drive localized innovation of turbines to help meet specific needs, thus adding to our operational efficiency."
Also in attendance was GE Power & Water President and CEO Steve Bolze, who said: "We are honored to have the opportunity to support the Kingdom in not only powering its industries, but to strengthen the skills of its people. A strong local manufacturing base, with a skilled workforce, robust supply chain, and the opportunity to produce the world's best technology, is a tremendous asset to a growing economy. We are privileged to expand our long-standing commitment to the Kingdom and I look forward to being here in 2016 when that first gas turbine rolls out of the Center."
Marking its third year of operations, the Center is an established center of excellence for gas turbine service and manufacturing, and today supports over 70 customers from 30 countries. With a workforce of 600, nearly 75 per cent of them Saudis, the Center has delivered support to increase the performance of more than 550 gas turbines to date. Currently, more than 150 different gas turbine parts are being produced by GE-qualified and trained Saudi suppliers, thereby making local Saudi enterprises part of GE's global supply chain. These Kingdom-based suppliers make severe temperature parts for GE's global gas turbine network and mechanical, fluids and electrical systems for power plants. The expansion of the Center's capabilities will further establish Saudi Arabia as a regional manufacturing hub for advanced gas turbines and strengthen the energy ecosytem of the Kingdom.
With this next phase, the Center will add more than 100 additional full time local jobs and will give employees career opportunities across multiple fields. GE is dedicated to providing continuous development of Saudi nationals as leaders in both technology and manufacturing. To this end, GE will kick off the inaugural training session for Saudi students at the GE Technical Academy, a 50,000 square meter advanced training facility in Jubail located 70 km from the Center. The two-year training program will graduate approximately 150 students per year, adding to the highly-skilled Saudi talent pipeline needed for the Center's operations and expansion plans and for the SMEs in the local supply chain.
Further fueling the local supply chain capabilities is GE's partnership with the Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center (Wa'ed) to support Saudi SMEs and engage them in the domestic manufacturing and service sector. Today, nearly 55 per cent of the Center's suppliers are Saudi businesses, including 140 SMEs. SMEs supported and trained by GE manufacture more than 150 gas turbine parts locally of which 80 per cent are exported to markets in Europe and the US. In addition, the Saudi-based suppliers are part of GE's global supply chain manufacturing combustion parts, mechanical, fluids and electrical systems for power plants.
Hisham Albahkali, GE's President & CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, said: "As a committed partner in the progress of the country's competitiveness, GE has achieved significant milestones with the GE Manufacturing Technology Center, which has enhanced the entire energy supply chain, fueled the growth of SMEs, created new jobs and deepened the hands-on technical expertise of Saudi engineers."
Since supplying Saudi Arabia with turbomachinery for its first oil expedition in 1942, GE has been a growth technology partner to the Kingdom. Over the last eight decades, GE has grown its presence exponentially in the Kingdom to be closer to customers and deliver advanced technology solutions for their toughest challenges while helping the Kingdom expand its energy infrastructure and talent.
+971 4 4507 600
GE Communications Leader, North Africa
+971 4 429 6318