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$100 Million Investment in Saudi Arabia: Manufacturing, R&D and Innovation

Thomas Edison once said, “I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent it.” Well, the climate and environment in Saudi Arabia create plenty of need for innovative technologies and solutions that operate reliably and efficiently.

GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Immelt announced in his trip to Saudi Arabia that the company will invest $100 million in a number of new programs to help give birth to a range of “Made in Saudi Arabia” innovations in analytics and manufacturing to serve the power & water and oil & gas sectors. The programs will help enhance energy efficiency and sustainability priorities of the country.

Immelt said: “We are proud to work with our partners to co-create solutions that will find application both in Saudi Arabia and globally. We believe that future skill-sets demand strong capability in both software and hardware; and we are committed to delivering that to our Saudi workforce and our ecosystem of partners, such as Saudi Aramco and Saudi Electricity Company, as well as SMEs.”

GE will expand its facilities in Saudi for the region with the production of GE’s HA gas turbines – the world’s largest and most efficient gas turbine – at GE Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam. Additionally the Oil & Gas facility in Dammam will include the manufacturing of wellheads, ‘Christmas Trees’ and other Pressure Control technologies as well as well performance services repair capability for submersible pumps.

The Saudi GE Innovation Center in Dhahran Techno Valley today will be at the heart of the company’s technology innovation ecosystem in the Kingdom. The programs include a ‘Hot & Harsh’ Global Research & Development Program, a Software & Analytics ‘Industrial Internet’ Lab, a GE ‘in Saudi for region’ hub for Energy Efficiency technology development as well as a Monitoring & Diagnostics Center at GE Manufacturing Technology Center.

To date, the Saudi GE Innovation Center has recorded its first technology patent, delivered training to over 600 professionals on energy efficiency technologies, hosted numerous thought leadership forums, and welcomed over 1,000 high-profile industry visitors.

The Hot & Harsh program will address factors such as temperature, dust, corrosion and fuel harshness — all of which have a negative impact on the operational efficiency of power plants. Advances achieved in the Hot & Harsh program will support the manufacturing of GE’s new-design high-efficiency gas turbines at the GE Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam.

GE Manufacturing Technology Center is today a Center of Excellence that has serviced over 550 gas turbines, supports 70 customers in 30 countries exporting 80 percent of its parts. The facility employs over 700 skilled workers, 75 percent of them Saudi professionals.

GE will also work with King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) on material testing and combustion research. The outcomes will support the development of GE’s HA gas turbines, which will be manufactured at GE Manufacturing Technology Center in late 2016. GE’s HA gas turbines provide the world’s highest combined-cycle efficiency, power plant availability and unprecedented operational flexibility.

The focus of GE Oil & Gas engineering research will be on developing new and enhanced technologies in the upstream and downstream sectors with the goal of increasing efficiency and production. This will include new software solutions as well as the next-generation of down-hole technology and Electric Submersible Pump (ESP), which has the potential to be a game-changer for the industry both in Saudi Arabia and across the world. In addition, the research will aim to advance corrosion monitoring and resistance technologies to better withstand high sour-gas environments prevalent in Saudi Arabian oil and gas fields.

Establishing an Energy Efficiency technology development hub will bring together GE’s capability across the energy value chain – from supply to demand – to address the country’s energy challenges through innovative solutions in fuel consumption, emissions and real-time data. This will be developed at the Saudi GE Innovation Center for Saudi Arabia and the region.

GE is focused on bringing its technological leadership in advanced materials science, predictive analytics as well as developing the most efficient and cost-effective energy systems. This will enable customers to optimize asset performance and operations for increased production and higher efficiencies.

This new investment adds to GE’s $1 billion commitment over the past three years in the Kingdom. GE has been supporting the Kingdom’s oil and gas sector for nearly 80 years and today helps power, move, cure and build with partners across Saudi Arabia

Industry: Power, Research

Country: Middle East, North Africa, UAE

Keywords: climate, Innovation, investment, Manufacturing, oil and gas, power, Powering, Research and Development, Saudi Arabia