Siemens training facility to boost regional talent
Siemens aims to enable young talents to enhance their professional and vocational competencies, building local experts in the energy industry over the next years
Cairo - Siemens is building one of the largest training facilities in the region that will act as a center for technology transfer for engineers and technicians in the Middle East and North Africa, a senior official at the German headquartered company has said.
Located in Egypt, the center will help build up competencies for plants’ operation and maintenance young Egyptians, but will also attract individuals from other countries within the region.
“We are committed to nurturing local talent in the MENA region and also go as far as involving young engineers in developing technologies that are tailored to the peculiar conditions of their countries,” Dietmer Siersdorfer, Siemens CEO for Middle East and UAE told Utilities Middle East.
“The region is investing heavily in its utilities sector, but the best way to guarantee the reliability and efficiency of the sector is to build local manpower that will ensure that all facilities continue to run at the expected standards.”
Siemens has kicked off the first batch of the company’s commitment to train 600 Egyptian engineers and technicians – in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy.
Through this training program, Siemens aims to enable young Egyptian talents to enhance their professional and vocational competencies, building local experts in the energy industry over the next years.
Siersdorfer was speaking at celebrations to mark the arrival of four H-class gas turbines at the Beni Suef combined cycle power plant in Egypt, the first turbines of this kind to be installed in the region.
Two of the 400 megawatt (MW) turbines alongside six 500 kilovolt (kV) generator transformers were placed on their foundations, marking an important milestone towards the commissioning of the plant – set to become the world's biggest gas-fired combined-cycle power plant complex when completed.
The gas turbine is capable of running at full load in less than 25 minutes after a hot start, enabling it to also be used as a backup for renewables-based power production.
This flexibility supports the operator in efforts to achieve economical operations in a challenging environment for conventional power plants.
While the efficiency levels vary with climatic conditions, an H-Class power plant capable of operating at more than 61% is expected to be a game-changer for the Middle East's energy mix. Egypt alone will save nearly $1.3bn annually in fuel costs with the use of H-class turbines.
Siersdorfer noted that this achievement would have a significant impact to the region as it continues to witness unprecedented growth in energy demand.
“Each country must develop a reliable energy mix which accommodates this growth,” said Siersdorfer.
“By 2030 we expect that more than 65% of the Middle East's power generation will come from natural gas-fired plants. It therefore makes sense to use fuel and capital for solutions that deliver the most power for the least amount of resource. Our customers expect this, and the economic and environmental benefits are clear.”
“We currently see typical power plants connected to the grid with average efficiencies varying between 35% up to 58%”
He said that Siemens has firm orders for 76 H-Class turbines, and that 17 were already in commercial use with more than 195,000 hours of operation worldwide.
“This is a thoroughly tested and proven technology that already works in practically every corner of the globe. And it's just broken the world record for efficiency - again. We are not only offering a record-breaking product. We are offering customers peace of mind,” said Siersdorfer.
With its local partners, Siemens will build a total of three natural gas-fired combined cycle power plants with a total capacity of 14.4 GW in Egypt. 4.4 GW of this power will be connected to the national grid in only 19 months – from signing to service – which is six months faster than the world benchmark.
The H-class turbines will be applied for the first time in the GCC at the 2.2GW power plant that Siemens will build in UAE’s Northern Emirates following the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA).