Transforming Together: Forging a New Era of High-Value Manufacturing

Transforming Together: Forging a New Era of High-Value Manufacturing

June 06, 2016 at 01:06pm

 High-tech factories get the big headlines, but large metal foundries deserve at least as much attention.

That’s because when you’re forging and casting enormous, bus-sized pieces of iron and steel, or high-performance valves, cylinders, pumps and other equipment that must perform under the most extreme conditions, you’ll only achieve the necessary quality levels by using the most sophisticated and high-precision equipment, processes and supply chains.

An example of this is now on its way to realization in Saudi Arabia following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that Saudi Aramco has signed with GE and CividaleSpA of Italy. The companies will build the Middle East and North Africa’s first-of-its-kind, high-end Forging & Casting Manufacturing Facility.

Developed to serve the region’s maritime and energy industries, the more than US$400 million facility will be located in Ras Al-Khair industrial area under the Royal Commission for Jubail& Yanbu.

Set to be operational in 2020, the plant will create 2,000 quality jobs in the Kingdom, establish a high-value supply chain that will boost exports and economic competitiveness, and catalyze the growth of Saudi small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It will enable Saudi and regional customers to achieve greater operational efficiencies in product procurement, repair and service support.

The plant will provide locally produced forged and cast metal parts for several Saudi Aramco industrial projects, including an onshore rig manufacturing facility that will provide new build and maintenance, repair and overhaul services to onshore rigs and systems; an engine manufacturing project for the manufacturing, maintenance and repair of diesel engines, and the manufacturing and repair of marine pumps; and an Energy Industrial City to accelerate manufacturing industries in the oil and gas sector. It also will supply other regional and global customers.

“The MoU reflects our ambition to create a robust supply chain that builds positive synergies in the oil and gas manufacturing sector,” said Abdallah I. Al-Saadan, Senior Vice President of Finance, Strategy& Development for Saudi Aramco.

Rami Qasem, President & CEO of GE Oil & Gas for the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, said that the new facility will build on GE’s already strong expertise in “Made in Saudi” manufacturing. “Together with our partners, we will actively engage Saudi SMEs to support the plant’s operations, and train and hire Saudi professionals, adding further value to the economy.”

In addition, the plant will support the ongoing development of the mining sector by creating a domestic source-market for various raw materials and supplies that will go into the production line.

This forging and casting factory announcement follows the series of major partnership agreements that GE announced with leading Saudi companies during GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia.

Collectively, these agreements seek to create more than 4,000 new and high-value jobs for Saudis, provide training to 1,000 Saudi women in industrial fields, help establish Saudi Arabia as a global manufacturing and digital industrial hub, support the introduction of new industries into the Kingdom, foster a robust SME supply chain, drive exports, and boost productivity and efficiency across the energy, aviation, healthcare and digital sectors.

GE has a long and deeply rooted history in Saudi Arabia, extending back more than 80 years. Working with government and private sector partners, GE has supported the Kingdom’s development in aviation, healthcare, oil & gas, power, transportation and water.

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