GE Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam marks 4th year of operation as regional hub for advanced gas turbine services

4107GE (NYSE: GE) is marking the fourth year of operations of the GE Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, which has emerged as regional service and manufacturing hub and center of excellence for advanced gas turbines.

A part of the US$1 billion investment commitment by GE in the Kingdom, the GE Manufacturing Technology Center has been expanded significantly since its launch in 2011, and is now gearing up to manufacture the first high-efficient, heavy duty gas turbine in the Kingdom by 2016. With the ongoing expansion of the center, over 100 direct new technical jobs will be created and add to the technical competencies to manufacture 8-10 gas turbines per year, with room for expansion over time.

Underlining GE’s focus on supporting the Kingdom’s Saudization policy and to promote Saudi talent in technical careers, the center has achieved about 70 per cent Nationalization, with several additional job opportunities being created for Saudis. Since its launch, the center has created more than 700 jobs.

With over US$50 million in sourcing spend domestically to date, GE Manufacturing Technology Center serves over 70 customers from over 30 countries around the world, and has serviced over 550 gas turbines, to date. Further supporting Saudi Arabia’s focus on strengthening exports and manufacturing to boost economic growth and competitiveness, nearly 80 per cent of all parts assembled at the center are for external markets including Europe and the US as well as GE’s manufacturing facilities globally.

Also contributing to building a local supply chain, more than 150 gas turbine parts are being serviced in Saudi Arabia by qualified and trained Saudi suppliers, highlighting GE’s focus on supporting the Kingdom’s goal to enable the growth of small and medium enterprises, in turn, generating more jobs. Several Saudi suppliers are also involved in manufacturing parts for GE’s global gas turbine network as well as produce mechanical, fluid and electrical systems for power plants.

Mazin Al Bahkali – General Manager of Power Generation, Products and Services, GE Saudi, said: “The GE Manufacturing Technology Center is a compelling example of a strong business-driven, technology-centered ecosystem that contributes to the larger growth goals of the government. While it focuses on its core competency of supporting the region’s energy and power sectors with advanced gas turbine services, the center is also uniquely positioned as a catalyst for job creation, domestic manufacturing, export-oriented businesses, Saudi human capital development and the development of the SME sector.”

He added: “Since the inception of the center, GE has steadily invested in further strengthening its core operations and focused on training Saudi professionals to undertake the specialized job functions. We have also placed emphasis on building a local supply chain of Saudi suppliers who now contribute to the manufacturing processes of GE globally. With the center, we are delivering on our promises to the Kingdom.”

“The center is a true example of the effective integration of global technological strengths with local talent to create a new technical business model that adds value to the economy. We will continue to invest in the center and work with our partners and suppliers to further build the center as one of our global centers of excellence, as part of our long-term commitment to the Kingdom,” AlBahkali explained.

As part of upcoming expansions, the center will add enhanced repair operations and offer 320 ton lift capability in one of the new manufacturing buildings - a perfect fit for heavy duty gas turbine manufacturing.

Spread over an area of 120,000 sq ft, the GE Manufacturing Technology Center also has an advanced training center that offers the latest technology and managerial courses for students, field engineers and other power industry professionals. A Research & Development Center promotes localized innovation in the energy sector with a particular focus on the requirements of the Kingdom.

To support the creation of technical careers for Saudis, GE is training students at the GE Technical Academy, developed with the support of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), GE and Saudi Technical & Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC). Over 500 Saudi students will be trained at the 50,000 sq m facility over five years. More than 200 of the 250 students in the first three batches have already joined GE’s various businesses in the Kingdom including the GE Manufacturing Technology Center.

Since supplying the turbo-machinery for its first oil expedition in 1942, GE has been a growth technology partner to Saudi Arabia. With three offices and six facilities, Saudi Arabia accounts for the largest GE workforce in the Middle East with over 1,400 employees driving the healthcare, transportation, power, oil & gas, water, and aviation businesses. More than 500 GE turbines currently generate over 50 per cent of Saudi’s electricity, and the company’s advanced technology supports the production of 150 million liters clean water daily, delivered to the country’s remotest corners.

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