Go Local to Support Economic Diversification

Go Local to Support Economic Diversification

September 16, 2013 at 09:09am

Qatar has embarked on a development journey that is perhaps unique in the world. In its own words, the goal of the Qatar National Vision 2030 is no less than to “transform” the country. While hydrocarbon wealth is the initial fuel, the bigger focus is on building human capital and nurturing a domestic knowledge-powered economy through organizations such as Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

Business, of course, will play a major role in achieving these goals, but those businesses that not only provide specific products and services, but also localize these solutions will be particularly valuable partners. That’s because localization means helping to build a talented and trained pool of professionals in-country.

GE is doing just this in fields across Qatar.

Clearly, Qatar is a strong customer of GE solutions in sectors such as aviation and oil & gas.  In June, for example, Qatar Airways announced two deals with GE, including a 10-year engine maintenance cost per hour agreement for the airline’s 29 Airbus A330s powered with GE CF6-80E engines, and an order for nine GE90-115B-powered Boeing 777-300ERs.

But this is just one part of GE’s multifaceted engagement with Qatar’s aviation sector.

The GE Advanced Technology & Research Center at the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) is another example of the company’s localized involvement. This facility — which provides training, equipment servicing, and original localized research — has classrooms, a 150-seat auditorium, 14 engine/tooling bays as part of an aircraft engine learning center, and laboratories.

In aviation, the center provides advanced, high-tech turbine engine maintenance training programs that fit the requirements of GE’s customers in the region. The center provides world-class technical training materials, including fully configured engines, and its training programs are led by international instructors who are experts in their subjects.

Research taking place at the center includes a project to develop a smart automated tool that fully optimizes a compression train (driven + driver) for LNG operations.

In the oil & gas sector, Qatargas has a long-term service agreement with GE to maintain the GE Frame 5 gas turbines operating at the Qatargas liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City. And here again, localization is a key part of GE’s engagement. The company has developed an innovative maintenance program for these engines that means Qatargas is able to increased LNG production time by approximately one week per maintenance outage.

Instead of long downtimes required to take apart the engines for inspection and maintenance, GE’s “modular strategy” simply removes the engine requiring maintenance and replaces it with a new module that is started up immediately upon installation. The used engine is then serviced in a GE Oil & Gas Service Center and Repair Workshop located near the Ras Laffan site.

The workshop not only reduces outages at the plant, but it also expands GE’s local services capabilities, strengthens local technical support and reduces turn-around times for projects throughout the region.

For more on GE’s wide-ranging support to Qatar’s economic expansion and diversification, click here.

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