GE (NYSE: GE) has further strengthened its commitment to localized manufacturing with the groundbreaking of the new GE Oil & Gas Manufacturing Facility, located in Second Industrial City in Dammam. The expansion is part of the US$1 billion investment commitment announced by GE in the Kingdom, and follows the signing of an agreement with the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON) last year.
The first phase of the new facility will be the construction of a 9,500 sq.m building, scheduled for completion by December this year. The focus will be on expanding the manufacturing capability and operations of the nearby existing Pressure Control facility, which is certified to API and ISO quality management system. The expansion is intended to create over 100 new career opportunities for skilled Saudi engineers and accelerate customer deliveries on key equipment such as wellheads and valves for the upstream oil and gas sector.
Currently, the Pressure Control Facility employs over 85 people, more than one-third of them Saudi nationals. As part of GE’s commitment to nurture local talent, it works with Saudi technical institutes to offer training programs for young Nationals to further build their technical skills. The facility has nine CNC machines and three cladding rigs, and currently offers wellhead manufacturing and pressure control equipment and technologies for various clients including Saudi Aramco.
A ceremony held at the Pressure Control Facility on March 30 marked the ground breaking in the presence of Lorenzo Simonelli, President and CEO, GE Oil & Gas, and Rami Qasem, President and CEO, GE Oil & Gas MENAT, and Nabeel Al-Mansour Executive Director of Material Suppliers of Saudi Aramco.
Nabeel Al-Mansour Executive Director of Materials Supply of Saudi Aramco, said: "The event we celebrate today aligns with the national vision, our corporate direction, and our supply chain aspirations, to maximize the value generated for, and by, the local economy. And it demonstrates GE’s ongoing and active commitment to Saudi Arabia. GE’s embracing of the strategic direction outlined by the Saudi Vision 2020.”
Rami Qasem, President and CEO, GE Oil & Gas, Middle East, North Africa and Turkey said: “In the past two years, GE has made significant investments to build a culture of localized manufacturing. We listen to our customers, understand their needs and tailor solutions that meet their requirements.
“Our advanced GE Oil & Gas Manufacturing Facility, which includes the expanded Pressure Control unit, is a direct response to the demand from customers. It will further scale up our capabilities to support them, particularly Saudi Aramco, by offering advanced technologies and service support swiftly and with greater efficiency. The current expansion will enhance the in-house repair facilities and add more capacity to our manufacturing unit. It will contribute to promoting the operational efficiency of our customers in addition to creating new jobs for Saudi professionals and developing local suppliers in the SME sector.”
GE Oil & Gas is also working with local suppliers, as part of its partnership with Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center (Wa’ed) to engage local SMEs in the domestic manufacturing and service sector. The goal is to enable local vendors to provide components needed for the manufacturing of wellheads.
The groundbreaking follows GE’s recently announced plans to expand the manufacturing capabilities of the GE Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam. The Center will now feature the manufacturing of GE’s most advanced, largest, high efficiency gas turbines, bringing with it new engineering jobs and more opportunities for local suppliers.
The diverse array of initiatives by GE across the country builds on the company’s 80-year history. Since supplying the turbo-machinery for its first oil expedition in 1942, GE has been a growth technology partner to Saudi Arabia. With the company’s US$ 1 billion investment focused on energy, healthcare and innovation, GE is strengthening its partnership with the Kingdom to drive economic diversification, localization and develop Saudi human capital. Key milestones announced under the investment for the energy sector include the Saudi GE Innovation Center, GE Manufacturing Technology Center and the GE Technical Academy.
With three offices and seven facilities, Saudi Arabia accounts for the largest GE workforce in the Middle East with over 1,000 employees driving the healthcare, transportation, power, oil and gas, water, and aviation businesses. More than 500 GE turbines currently generate over 50 percent of Saudi’s electricity, and the company’s advanced technology supports the production of 150 million liters clean water daily, delivered to the country’s remotest corners.