GE to invest $100mn in Saudi Arabia
US firm announces new manufacturing and R&D programmes in the Kingdom.
GE has announced $100mn in new programs in Saudi Arabia that will further the company’s localisation efforts, build innovation capacity, and create jobs in advanced manufacturing and software analytics.
The research and manufacturing programs will aim at enhancing the energy efficiency and sustainability priorities of the country.
In manufacturing, 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.
In R&D, today’s announcement places the Saudi GE Innovation Center in Dhahran Techno Valley 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.
Jeffrey Immelt, GE Chairman & CEO 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.”
The Hot & Harsh Global Research Program will study the effect of high temperature, dust, corrosion, erosion, duty cycle, and fuel harshness which have a critical impact on the reliability and efficiency of power plants. This research & development program will design and prototype gas turbine and auxiliaries components for testing at a simulated ‘hot and harsh’ environment at GE Manufacturing Technology Center.
In addition, GE will collaborate with 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.
GE and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) will collaborate on advanced prototyping and additive manufacturing working with the planned state-of-the-art Technology Advanced Prototyping Center (TAPC). The program addresses the need to develop capabilities and skill-sets in material sciences, applied development and advanced prototyping.
The partnership will also provide training, consultation, educational, supply chain and engagement support to TAPC and its staff at GE’s global advanced manufacturing & micro factory facilities. Also, GE is working with KAUST to advance fuel flexibility of gas turbines, which in turn can positively impact power plant availability, enabling power producers to meet the growing demand for electricity in the Kingdom.
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.