GEMTEC: A Glittering Example of High-Value Manufacturing in the Kingdom
The GE Manufacturing Technology Center (GEMTEC) in Dammam currently employs more than 600 people in skilled technical jobs. A just announced expansion of the center will add another 100 high-value engineering and technical jobs at GEMTEC, while fostering hundreds of additional new jobs across the Kingdom through the local supply chain.
Equally exciting is what these skilled workers will be manufacturing: GE’s largest, most advanced, high-efficiency gas turbines for power plants. Once operational in 2016, the facility is expected to produce eight to 10 of these equipments each year, while ample room for expansion means the facility could grow to produce many more turbines.
The expansion is part of GE’s $1 billion investment commitment to Saudi Arabia that was announced in September 2012.
Now in its third year, GEMTEC is a model of what localization in support of economic development can be. Nearly 75% of its 600 employees are Saudi nationals. This established center of excellence for gas turbine service and manufacturing has more than 70 customers in 30 countries and has delivered support to improve the performance of more than 550 gas turbines.
GE-qualified and trained Saudi suppliers are producing more than 150 gas turbine parts for the center, thereby making local Saudi enterprises part of GE’s global supply chain. 80% of these gas turbine parts are exported to markets in Europe and the United States. Saudi suppliers represent 55% of the center’s suppliers, and 140 of these Saudi companies are small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
These gas turbine parts include severe-temperature parts 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 ecosystem in the Kingdom.
Training for the 100 new high-skilled employees, who will help build the gas turbines, will take place at the GE Technical Academy, a 50,000 square meter advanced training facility located in Jubail, about 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.
GE has supported Saudi Arabia’s economic development since 1942, when it supplied the Kingdom with turbomachinery for its first oil expedition. For more on GE in Saudi Arabia, click here.