The Power of Partnership: Building the Future in MENAT
April 6, 2023
Through partnership, GE has supported the economic development and diversification of the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region since the 1930s. This cooperation has included everything from building gas turbines in Algeria to building an interest in STEM careers among high school students in Kuwait.
For decades, GE has collaborated with public and private sector partners to develop critical power and grid infrastructure, support a dynamic aviation industry, localize industrial manufacturing and maintenance, conduct region-focused research and innovation, and promote workforce development.
From its experience globally and regionally, GE knows that when partners work together, they achieve better results – often in less time – as complementary skills and knowledge overcome barriers and deliver results.
From its earliest years in the region, GE has endeavored to understand public sector priorities and support government objectives by contributing technologies, expertise, financing and training to help build a world that works.
In aviation, partnerships are helping the industry achieve its 2050 net-zero emission goals. For example, GE Aerospace supported Emirates Airlines, alongside partners Boeing, Honeywell, Neste and Virent, to procure and develop a blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) that replicates the properties of conventional jet fuel. In January 2023, that fuel was used to power one of two GE90 engine during the first-ever test flight in the Middle East to use 100% SAF.
One of the longest-running GE partnerships in the aviation space in the MENAT region is the joint venture company TEI, which is involved in aircraft engine design, development, parts manufacturing, assembly, maintenance, repair and overhaul.
In the energy sector, GE has contributed to a wide range partnership driving progress in building out infrastructure and advancing the industry. This includes establishment of GE Algeria Turbines (GEAT), a joint venture between GE and Sonelgaz to manufacture gas and steam turbines.
In Iraq, GE has supported the country’s energy sector as a partner for more than 55 years. Previous agreements with the Ministry of Electricity, such as the Power Up Plan, have contributed to the 19 gigawatts of generating capacity that GE has helped develop since 2011.
The latest example is the newly signed Principles of Cooperation (PoC) with the Ministry of Electricity that seeks to strengthen the energy sector in a number of areas, including construction of new power plants and expansion of capacity at existing ones, maintenance and rehabilitation of existing power plants and transmission infrastructure, and strengthening the grid through establishing new substations.
Beyond building power infrastructure, GE also is helping build human capital and entrepreneurism in the country. The multi-year GE-funded Takkat campaign, conducted in partnership with Iraqi SME incubator KAPITA, has supported more than 50 startups and microbusinesses operating in sectors across the economy, from handicrafts to solar power.
The energy transition is another area for cooperation and GE is supporting customers as they pursue decarbonization and governments as they work toward their net-zero targets. Over the past two years, GE has signed agreements to support Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and QatarEnergy in their decarbonization goals.
Also in the field of sustainability, at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, GE joined with coalition partners to demonstrate the first LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine to generate power from a hydrogen blend on the African continent.
In another project bringing multiple partners together, GE Digital is contributing to an initiative of the Bechtel-led Coalition for Decarbonization, which also includes Enppi, Petrojet, and Baker Hughes, that is supporting the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals in decarbonizing existing oil and gas facilities across the country.
Partnership projects almost always result in innovations and operational improvements, but an agreement signed between GE and the Saudi Electricity Company is explicitly focused on promoting scientific research and development (R&D) in the power sector in the Kingdom.
Strengthening STEM skills
Partnerships extend beyond government and the private sector to non-profit organizations that are building human capital in the region. GE has worked with INJAZ Al Arab and other non-profits across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region on a range of programs to inspire, encourage and teach entrepreneurial, business and STEM skills.
Working with INJAZ UAE, GE hosted a “STEM for the Next 50” Innovation Camp for more than 200 female high school students who were challenged to use critical thinking and problem-solving to find innovative solutions to concerns regarding the energy transition.
Similar events were hosted in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, where young people worked with GE mentors as they discussed the energy transition and then developed and presented impactful sustainability proposals that could contribute to their country’s decarbonization goals. The event in Saudi Arabia was conducted in collaboration with Saudi nonprofit Mawhiba for male and female high school students, while the Turkey eventengaged female college students.
GE also has partnered with INJAZ Kuwait and INJAZ Egypt on recent events that sought to inspire local female talent and advance their understanding and interest in STEM fields. Both programs featured hands-on learning and activities that fostered key STEM skills such as problem-solving, and analytical and critical thinking.
The Kuwait event was held at the the GE Kuwait Technology Center (GEKTC), a flagship facility that fosters localized research, provides hands-on training and builds an innovation ecosystem specifically for the power sector. GEKTC is itself an example of a partnership – between GE and the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) – that supports Kuwait Vision 2035.
The power of GE partnership to support national and regional development goals is a reflection of the company’s enduring commitment to the MENAT region and to its people. Partnership is crucial to progress, and GE is committed to fostering collaboration across the region for decades to come.
Read more here about how GE builds partnerships across the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey region.