Riyadh – MENA Herald: GE (NYSE: GE) has strengthened its localized manufacturing in Saudi Arabia with the delivery of six gas compression trains made at the GE Manufacturing & Technology Center (GEMTEC) in Dammam this year.

Six more gas compression trains, each comprising an aeroderivative gas turbine driving a centrifugal compressor, are being manufactured this year.

GE is also manufacturing GE’s 7F.05 heavy duty gas turbines at GEMTEC for Saudi Electricity Company (SEC). This is part of the contract from SEC for the EPC contract for gas turbine services for its Waad Al Shamal combined cycle power plant project.

GE’s 7F.05 heavy duty gas turbines bring industry-leading flexibility to the Waad Al Shamal plant with a 10-minute start time to an 80 percent load. They can accommodate a wide range of fuels lending greater flexibility to operations while providing customers with lower fuel costs compared to previous technology.

Zaher Ibrahim, CEO, GE Oil & Gas Saudi Arabia, added: “The local manufacturing of the gas compression and turbine technologies bring us closer to meeting the needs of our customers, and contributes to enhanced levels of service support and higher levels of operational efficiency. The localized manufacturing will also help build a local talent pool of Saudi professionals and develop more local suppliers and SMEs.”

All 12 of the gas compression trains, including the highly efficient aeroderivative turbines, are manufactured at GEMTEC, which now has over 500 employees, 70 percent of them Saudi technical professionals.

The gas compression trains also demonstrate the strength of GE Store, which allows every business in GE to share and access the applicable technology, R&D, and commercial and managerial expertise to achieve scale, lower costs, higher efficiency, and faster growth. The aeroderivative turbines have been developed using GE Aviation’s aircraft technology, highlighting the cross-business collaboration under GE Store.

Over the past two years, GEMTEC has also evolved as a strong supporter of the Saudi SME sector. In 2014, 12 percent of components for the gas turbines being manufactured at GEMTEC were supplied by local SMEs. These included base plates, battery compartments, batteries and small machine parts. In 2015, the contribution of Saudi SMEs to GEMTEC increased to 21 percent with an even wider spectrum of ‘Made in Saudi’ products such as inlet ducts, exhaust stacks and control compartments.
Mazin Albahkali, GE’s VP of Strategic Accounts for Saudi Arabia, said: “We are committed to strengthening localized manufacturing of high-end industrial equipment in the Kingdom. It supports the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 to build the Kingdom’s manufacturing capabilities, create new jobs and support SMEs. The in-country value generated through the localized manufacturing, led by Saudi professionals, is long-term and sets the strong foundation for more manufacturing initiatives by GE in the Kingdom.”

GEMTEC is now being expanded with the 9,000 sqm manufacturing facility to have 320 MT lift capability and two high bays for gas turbine and accessories manufacturing. It also has two low bays for component sub assembly and a pipe shop. The factory floor has an efficient Lean layout to maximise operational efficiency. The first advanced gas turbine to be manufactured in Saudi Arabia will roll out of GEMTEC later this year.

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.