GE ush­ers in next era of man­u­fac­tur­ing in Saudi

GEMTEC in Dammam now re­gion’s first ‘Bril­liant Fac­tory’

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

GE marked a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in its eight-decade-long pres­ence in Saudi Ara­bia by of­fi­cially open­ing Phase II of GE’s Man­u­fac­tur­ing & Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter (GEMTEC) and an­nounc­ing ex­panded ca­pa­bil­i­ties in­clud­ing the abil­ity to man­u­fac­ture HA and F-class tur­bines at the fa­cil­ity. GE’s HA tur­bines are the world’s largest and most ef­fi­cient, lead­ing the in­dus­try in out­put.

The open­ing co­in­cided with the com­ple­tion and de­liv­ery of GEMTEC’s first 7F tur­bine to Saudi Elec­tric­ity Com­pany’s Waad Al-Shamal com­bined-cy­cle power plant. GE’s Chair­man & CEO Jeff Im­melt joined se­nior of­fi­cials of the com­pany and part­ners to in­au­gu­rate the sec­ond phase of GEMTEC, which now joins the ranks of GE’s global gas tur­bine man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties such as in Greenville, South Carolina and Belfort, France.

“GE has been on the ground in Saudi Ara­bia for more than 80 years,” said Im­melt. “GEMTEC’s ex­pan­sion and trans­for­ma­tion is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in our op­er­a­tions here in the King­dom. This fa­cil­ity will serve as a man­u­fac­tur­ing, re­pair and re­search hub that ser­vices a wide mar­ket. GE’s in­vest­ment of dig­i­tally-driven ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties in GEMTEC demon­strates our con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to serv­ing as a lead­ing part­ner for trans­for­ma­tional growth in Saudi Ara­bia.”

Phase II of GEMTEC will con­tinue to de­velop an in­te­grated in­dus­trial ecosys­tem in the King­dom, through lo­cal, Saudi-driven man­u­fac­tur­ing, ser­vices and R&D. It cre­ates more than 150 high qual­ity jobs for Saudi pro­fes­sion­als and draws on more than 300 Saudi sup­pli­ers to pro­vide gas tur­bine parts that are man­u­fac­tured lo­cally. The ex­pan­sion also adds 9,000 sq m of man­u­fac­tur­ing space to the fa­cil­ity, tak­ing the to­tal area to 26,000 sq m - the size of 100 ten­nis courts. In ad­di­tion to the en­hanced man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pe­ten­cies, the fa­cil­ity of­fers ser­vices and re­pairs for gas tur­bines, as well as the first bal­ance of plant (BOP) test and in­spec­tion ser­vices in the re­gion.

The ex­panded GEMTEC also has a ded­i­cated Mon­i­tor­ing & Di­ag­nos­tics Cen­ter - Saudi Pow­erGen Ef­fi­ciency Cen­ter (SPEC) - for gas and steam tur­bines, which opened ear­lier this year. An­other core com­po­nent of the ex­pan­sion is con­struc­tion of a ded­i­cated build­ing for the Hot & Harsh Cen­ter of Ex­cel­lence. Re­searchers there will study the ef­fects of high tem­per­a­ture, dust, cor­ro­sion, ero­sion, duty cy­cle, and fuel harsh­ness on the re­li­a­bil­ity and ef­fi­ciency of power plants. This fa­cil­ity - ex­pected to be com­plete by the end of 2016 - will de­sign and pro­to­type gas tur­bines and aux­il­iary com­po­nents for test­ing.

The an­nounce­ment also marks the trans­for­ma­tion of GEMTEC to a ‘Bril­liant Fac­tory,’ the first of its kind in the re­gion. GE has in­tro­duced ad­vanced digital in­dus­trial ca­pa­bil­i­ties to GEMTEC, in­clud­ing sen­sor-en­abled ser­vice cen­ter equip­ment to pro­vide uti­liza­tion and per­for­mance data in ad­di­tion to di­ag­nos­tics. GEMTEC also uti­lizes real-time mon­i­tor­ing of all util­ity con­sump­tion, and site equip­ment and in­fra­struc­ture can be fully con­trolled and mon­i­tored re­motely us­ing GE’s bril­liant man­u­fac­tur­ing suite of ser­vices. “With this ex­pan­sion, GE can now build any heavy-duty gas tur­bine we of­fer right here in Saudi Ara­bia,” said Steve Bolze, Pres­i­dent & CEO of GE Power. We’ve al­ready com­pleted an F tur­bine at GEMTEC, and we look for­ward to build­ing our world-record-set­ting HA tur­bine in the King­dom-for cus­tomers in the King­dom and be­yond.”

“Since its open­ing in 2011, GEMTEC has helped build a strong lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing ecosys­tem that to­day ben­e­fits Saudi small and medium en­ter­prises,” stated Hisham Al-Bahkali, GE’s Pres­i­dent & CEO for Saudi Ara­bia and Bahrain. “Led by Saudi tech­ni­cal tal­ent, the Cen­ter’s ex­pan­sion en­ables us to serve our cus­tomers more ef­fi­ciently - as­sur­ing not only re­pair ser­vices but ‘Made in Saudi’ heavy duty gas tur­bines with the short­est turnaround time. Our in­vest­ment in lo­cal­ized man­u­fac­tur­ing and re­search also high­lights our com­mit­ment to the Saudi Vi­sion 2030 to con­tinue to strengthen the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the lo­cal econ­omy.”

As part of GE’s $1 bil­lion in­vest­ment in the King­dom, GEMTEC was ex­panded in 2012 in­ten­si­fy­ing its com­put­er­ized nu­mer­i­cal con­trol (CNC) ma­chin­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, cod­ing and an­a­lytic ser­vices and ro­bot­ics. With over 500 skilled work­ers, 70 per­cent of them Saudi pro­fes­sion­als, GEMTEC to­day serves more than 70 cus­tomers from 40 coun­tries around the world, ser­vic­ing com­po­nents from more than 600 tur­bines. More than 60 per­cent of all gas tur­bine man­u­fac­tur­ing and com­po­nents at GEMTEC are ex­ported to cus­tomers around the globe, fur­ther strength­en­ing Saudi Ara­bia’s com­pet­i­tive­ness and sup­port­ing the Saudi Vi­sion 2030 to cre­ate an ex­ports hub.

As part of GE’s com­mit­ment to drive lo­cal­iza­tion, GEMTEC also joined hands with Na­tional Power Acad­emy (NPA) to train Saudi engi­neers to be a part of their skilled work­force. GE is also col­lab­o­rat­ing with KAUST and Tech­ni­cal & Vo­ca­tional Train­ing Cen­ter (TVTC) for train­ing Saudi stu­dents for po­ten­tial ca­reers at GEMTEC. Of the 250 stu­dents trained to date, 200 are em­ployed across di­verse busi­nesses of GE in the King­dom in­clud­ing at GEMTEC. With a pres­ence of over 80 years, three of­fices and seven fa­cil­i­ties, Saudi Ara­bia ac­counts for the largest GE work­force in the Mid­dle East with over 2,000 em­ploy­ees driv­ing the Avi­a­tion, Health­care, Oil & Gas, Power and Trans­porta­tion busi­nesses.

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