GE strengthens Saudi presence with new initiatives
GE strengthens Saudi presence with new initiatives
The company also inaugurated a new and advanced pressure control facility, and signed a cooperation agreement with Wa'ed, Saudi Aramco's new entity focused on financing and incubating new businesses in the Kingdom.
The tie-up with Wa'ed will help identify and nurture local small and medium enterprises and develop them into competitive suppliers of the company in the energy sector as part of GE's focus on developing a Saudi-based supply chain for the manufacturing sector.
As part of GE's SR 3.75 billion investment in Saudi Arabia, the localization initiative will further strengthen the manufacturing sector of the Kingdom. The agreement to promote SMEs will also lead to indirect job creation for Saudis by driving robust demand for local suppliers and services. Together, the new investment in the energy sector of the Kingdom by GE complements the Saudi Vision 2020 to promote local manufacturing, economic diversification, exports and job creation.
Currently over 170,000 sq ft in area, the second phase will mark the expansion of the technology center by more than double to about 390,000 sq ft. The facility has recently completed its first year of operations, and serves more than 50 customers in the Kingdom, the rest of the Middle East, Africa and Europe. In the first year, GEMTEC extended service support to drive the efficiencies of over 450 gas turbines that are central to power generation.
After the expansion, GE's most advanced technology center of its kind will feature five key components - a modern manufacturing facility of high end equipment for the power, water and oil and gas industries; a service and repair center for advanced turbine equipment; a training center that offers the latest technology and managerial courses for college students, field engineers and other power industry professionals throughout the region; a repair development center; and a state-of-the-art high-speed balance facility.
Along with the introduction of new components, the office space of the center will also be expanded. Both the office space expansion and construction of the high-speed balance facility will be completed next year, while the rest of the components will be completed in phases in 2014.
GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt said: "The expansion of GEMTEC will contribute significantly to enhancing manufacturing and localization in the power sector of Saudi Arabia. Through the second phase investment and the opening of the pressure control facility, we are delivering on our promise to strengthen our investment and partnership commitment to our valued customers in the Kingdom."
According to him, it will also create jobs for young Saudi professionals and promote the Kingdom's human capital through advanced training on cutting edge technologies. "We are delighted to join hands with our long-term partner Saudi Aramco to further develop a Saudi-based supply chain in the manufacturing sector that will promote entrepreneurship among young Saudis," said Immelt.
Steve Bolze, president and CEO, GE Power and Water, said one of the significant advantages offered by GE's new investment is its ability to offer localized design, engineering and repair services for all sectors of the energy industry through active collaboration with its partners.
"This is of critical value in driving the overall operational efficiencies, and now our partners can benefit from significant time-savings with local cutting-edge repair and technical expertise. Additionally, by investing in talent, GE will play a key role in developing a pool of skilled technologists who can partner in meeting the energy sector growth requirements of the Kingdom," he said.
A top official of Saudi Electric Company, who was speaking on behalf of Ali Saleh Al-Barrak, president and CEO, said: "We have been working closely with GE for nearly four decades and the expansion of the Manufacturing Technology Center will enable us to experience high-quality integrated services of gas turbines locally. This will support SEC in meeting the growing electricity need in the Kingdom while furthering Saudi Arabia's ambitions of becoming a technology hub for the energy sector."
Complementing GE's goal of promoting localized job creation and human capital development, GEMTEC currently employs more than 350 technologists and is training more than 100 others under the Technical & Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) agreement.
The participants are being trained in key areas of maintenance and repair of gas turbines, electrical motors and generators that are critical to the efficient generation of electricity in the Kingdom. Over 50 percent Saudization has been achieved to date at the center.
Saudi Aramco in talks for stake in world’s no. 4 chemical firm
- Aramco made the invitation for the SABIC deal to the banks last month
- The oil giant is expanding its footprint globally by signing downstream deals and boosting the capacity of its plants
DUBAI: Saudi Aramco said on Thursday it is looking to buy a stake in Saudi petrochemical maker SABIC, a move that could boost the state oil giant’s market valuation ahead of a planned initial public offering.
Aramco said in a statement that it was in “very early-stage discussions” with the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund to acquire the stake in SABIC via a private transaction. It has no plans to acquire any publicly held shares, it said.
In a separate statement, the PIF also said that talks about a sale were in early stages. “There is a possibility that no agreement will be reached in relation to this potential transaction,” it said.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that Saudi Aramco had invited banks to pitch for an advisory role on the potential acquisition of a strategic stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
Aramco wants to develop its downstream business as the government prepares to sell up to 5 percent of the world’s largest oil producer, possibly by next year. Boosting its petrochemicals portfolio further could help attract investors for the IPO.
Riyadh-listed SABIC, the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals company, is 70 percent owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s top sovereign wealth fund. It has a market capitalization of 385.2 billion Saudi riyals ($102.7 billion).
The Aramco IPO is the centerpiece of an ambitious plan championed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy beyond oil.
Aramco made the invitation for the SABIC deal to the banks last month, said the sources, declining to be identified due to commercial sensitivities.
Aramco plans to boost investments in refining and petrochemicals to secure new markets for its crude, and sees growth in chemicals as central to its downstream strategy to lessen the risk of a slowdown in oil demand.
The oil giant is expanding its footprint globally by signing downstream deals and boosting the capacity of its plants.
Aramco’s push into chemicals also includes a mega project it is building at home with SABIC. The $20 billion project would build a complex that converts crude oil into chemicals directly, bypassing the refining stage.