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GE expands Saudi manufacturing facility, adds jobs for locals

GE expands Saudi manufacturing facility, adds jobs for locals

GE’s manufacturing and technology centre will now be able to produce HA and F-class turbines

Industrial conglomerate GE has opened the second phase of its manufacturing and technology centre (GEMTEC) in Saudi Arabia, it announced on Wednesday.

The facility will now have the ability to manufacture F-class and HA turbines – the world’s largest, a statement said.

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The expansion adds 9,000 sqm of manufacturing space to the facility, taking the total area to 26,000 sqm – the size of 100 tennis courts.

Along with manufacturing, the facility will also offer services and repairs for gas turbines and the first balance of plant (BOP) test and inspection services in the region.

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The expanded GEMTEC also has a dedicated monitoring and diagnostics centre – Saudi PowerGen Efficiency Centre – for gas and steam turbines, which opened earlier this year.

A new building is being constructed for the ‘Hot and Harsh Centre of Excellence’ where researchers will study the effects of high temperature, dust, corrosion, erosion, duty cycle, and fuel harshness on the reliability and efficiency of power plants.

This facility – expected to be complete by the end of 2016 – will design and prototype gas turbines and auxiliary components for testing.

Overall, phase two will create more than 150 jobs for Saudi nationals and will depend on 300 local suppliers to provide gas turbine parts, GE said.

“GE has been on the ground in Saudi Arabia for more than 80 years,” said GE chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt.

“GEMTEC’s expansion and transformation is a significant milestone in our operations here in the kingdom. This facility will serve as a manufacturing, repair and research hub that services a wide market.”

GE has also introduced advanced digital industrial capabilities in the facility, including sensor-enabled service centre equipment to provide utilisation and performance data along with diagnostics.

GEMTEC also utilises real-time monitoring of all utility consumption, and site equipment and infrastructure can be fully controlled and monitored remotely.

“With this expansion, GE can now build any heavy-duty gas turbine we offer right here in Saudi Arabia,” said Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power.

“We’ve already completed an F turbine at GEMTEC, and we look forward to building our world-record-setting HA turbine in the kingdom – for customers in the kingdom and beyond.”

The 7F turbine was delivered to Saudi Electricity Company’s Waad Al Shamal combined-cycle power plant this year.

As part of GE’s $1bn investment in the kingdom in 2012, GEMTEC was expanded to enhance its computerised numerical control machining capabilities, coding and analytic services and robotics.

The facility, which employs over 500 workers – including 70 per cent Saudi nationals, serves 70 customers from 40 countries, servicing components from more than 600 turbines.

More than 60 per cent of all gas turbine manufacturing and components at GEMTEC are exported to customers around the globe.

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