Machines Now Talk: Proud and Honored at Minds + Machines Saudi Arabia
By Hisham Al Bahkali, President & CEO of GE Saudi Arabia & Bahrain
Even on a “normal” day, the GE Manufacturing & Technology Center (GEMTEC), 2nd Industrial City, Dammam is central to our operations in Saudi Arabia. But recently, it held the focus not only of GE Saudi Arabia, but also senior Saudi dignitaries and business leaders, many of GE’s customers in the Kingdom and GE’s top global leadership.
Duty Gas Turbine Manufacturing Facility, a part of GEMTEC’s expansion, and hosting Minds + Machines Saudi Arabia.
We also announced a range of new pr
This confluence of attention occurred on October 12, when we were doing two important things: inaugurating the Heavy ograms, projects and partnerships in the areas of digital industrial, manufacturing and monitoring, and local Saudi research and development.
We were extremely proud and honored to welcome HRH Prince Saud bin Nayef, Governor of the Eastern Province, to GEMTEC, and we again thank him for his patronage and presence.
HRH Prince Saud bin Nayef was joined by Saudi dignitaries including HE Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources; HE Dr. Majid Alkassabi, Minister of Commerce & Investment; and HE Dr. Tawfig Al Rabiah, Minister of Health. Jeffrey Immelt, GE Chairman & CEO; Steve Bolze, President & CEO of GE Power, senior Saudi business leaders and GE executives and employees were also present.
At the same time as we welcomed these esteemed visitors to GEMTEC – a facility that is a shining example of our extensive commitment to the Kingdom and to Saudi Vision 2030 – we showcased the first GE 7F heavy duty gas turbine completed in Saudi, which will soon begin its journey to the Saudi Electricity Company’s 1,390 megawatt (MW) Waad Al Shamal combined-cycle power plant.
In all, GEMTEC will produce four 7F gas turbines for Waad Al Shamal. Part of their significance is not only that they will help meet the Kingdom’s growing electricity demand, but also that by producing them in Saudi Arabia, we are growing and evolving the advanced localized manufacturing ecosystem in the Kingdom. More than 300 Saudi suppliers – including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – are providing components for these gas turbines.
GEMTEC now also has the technological infrastructure to manufacture GE’s heavy-duty HA gas turbines, the world’s largest and most efficient gas turbines.
During the Minds + Machines Saudi Arabia event, we reaffirmed our commitment to partner with the government and private sector to support Saudi Vision 2030 through high-value job creation, expanded manufacturing and supply chain growth, and driving digital industrial software development.
The GEMTEC expansion adds 9,000 sqm, taking its total size to 26,000 sqm. In addition to the gas turbine manufacturing facility, the expansion will house a Hot & Harsh Technology Center of Excellence research facility that will build on ongoing research in this subject at the GE-Saudi Technology & Innovation Center in Dhahran Techno Valley.
Already operating from GEMTEC since March is a dedicated Monitoring & Diagnostics (M&D) Center for gas and steam turbines, named the Saudi PowerGen Efficiency Center (SPEC).
Once the expanded GEMTEC facility is fully operational, it will employ 650 workers, most of whom will be Saudi nationals in value-added manufacturing, maintenance, monitoring and R&D roles.
Also during the event, we announced partnerships with leading Saudi companies on a range of digital and software driven initiatives. The heart of our Industrial Internet program to drive this digital transformation of industry is the GE Saudi Technology & Innovation Center (GE STIC).
At GE STIC, Saudi customers and partners will work collaboratively with GE developers to design and develop digital solutions that will become apps running on Predix – the world’s first and only cloud-based operating system built exclusively for industry.
The center also will help develop Saudi software designers, engineers and developers through training programs focusing on start-ups and tech entrepreneurs operating in the digital industrial space.
These technology partnerships include working with the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to develop a Kingdom-wide, end-to-end digital infrastructure across the electricity value network. SEC is establishing a Generation & Optimization Center (GOC) with a Center of Technology that will be equipped with GE digital solutions to monitor, analyze and enhance the reliability and efficiency of 16 SEC power plants.
In addition, through an agreement with the Saudi Ministry of Health (MoH), GE Digital will work with the Ministry to drive digitization and the MoH Digital Capability, with a goal of achieving measurable improvements in the quality of patient care and cost. This Capability intends to focus on creating Predix apps that can be considered for use at Ministry hospitals and primary healthcare clinics.
With Saudi Aramco, GE is implementing its reliability and integrity management solution for Saudi Aramco’s Jazan Complex. GE Oil & Gas Digital is introducing its first Asset Performance Management solution to reside on Saudi Aramco’s business network for the Aramco Jazan Complex Integrated Manufacturing Operations Management System (IMOMS).
GE Digital and STC Solutions have also agreed to form a partnership around GE’s Industrial Internet technologies, while GE and TAQNIA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help develop digital industrial applications to support the Kingdom’s industrial base and establish Saudi Arabia as the region’s largest marketplace for specialized industry apps.
In conjunction with the expansion, GE has introduced digital industrial capabilities that are transforming GEMTEC into a “Brilliant Factory.” Using digital software, big data and data analysis running on GE’s Predix, GEMTEC and other Brilliant Factories gain real-time visibility and insights for real-time monitoring and optimization.
GE is the world’s leading digital industrial company. That means we have extensive capabilities through the Predix operating system, through a growing list of efficiency and operations enhancing software, and through some of the world’s most advanced industrial equipment to drive a digital transformation in the Kingdom to make it a leading innovator and developer of Industrial Internet software and solutions.
Four years ago, GE made a US$1 billion investment commitment to Saudi Arabia. We have delivered on that promise and continue to invest and plan for future growth. Earlier this year, we announced a range of strategic partnerships and initiatives that focused on economic and industrial diversification. Our announcements at GEMTEC on October 12 complement those steps with a focus on digital industrial software and solutions.
As we have done in Saudi Arabia for more than 80 years, we look forward to working with our partners and customers who joined us at GEMTEC, as well as the many friends and colleagues we work with everyday throughout the Kingdom, to achieve our shared goal of driving growth and development across the economy through our businesses, including GE Aviation, Current, Powered by GE, GE Digital, GE Healthcare, GE Oil & Gas, GE Power, GE Transportation, and GE Water & Process Technologies.