ALGESCO: This Is What Great Economic Development Looks Like
When governments think about what economic development should look like in their regions, they would all welcome the opening of an advanced-technology facility that manufactures, services and repairs complex machinery and equipment. If the facility also provides high-level training to prepare local citizens to operate and maintain the equipment, that’s even better.
On February 27th we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the opening of the ALGESCO turbomachinery service center in Algeria. This joint venture between GE, Algeria’s oil & gas company Sonatrach and Algeria’s national electricity and gas company Sonelgaz was initially established in 1990 but officially opened as a full-fledged center in the town of Hassi-R’mell in 1994 to provide repairs and servicing on a wide range of turbines, compressors and related equipment for Algeria’s power generation and oil & gas sectors.
In 2010, a new service facility was opened in Boufarik, a southern suburb of Algiers. The new $36 million facility is the largest global GE ‘center of excellence’ for turbomachinery services and uses a wide range of advanced technologies to help Algeria as it moves forward on ambitious plans to double its oil & gas capacity in ten years and add more than 35 gigawatts of new power capacity by 2023.
The 18,300 sqm Boufarik facility promotes technology innovation and has a dedicated learning center that can train up to 250 professionals annually. In all, more than 200 skilled technicians work at the facility, including 15 women specialized in sales, engineering, field service and other support functions.
ALGESCO technicians repair gas turbines, steam turbines, centrifugal and reciprocating compressors, and expanders. The center also is equipped with the newest coating technology, advanced renewable-energy technologies, a laser repair system and machining technology. It also is preparing to provide 24-hour remote monitoring and diagnostics to monitor the entire installed fleet of GE gas turbines in Algeria.