We are increasing our local capabilities in Kingdom to help Saudization
We are increasing our local capabilities in Kingdom to help Saudization
On the occasion of the German National Day, Dr. Feldhaus spoke with Arab News, on a range of subjects, mainly the growing presence of thyssenkrupp in Saudi Arabia in particular and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in general. He also focused on the Saudization of the workforce, thyssenkrupp’s plans to support the country’s Vision 2030 and the thyssenkrupp’s internal transformation program called “planets,” which is designed to make this giant German company more efficient, innovative and far ahead of its peers in the world.
Underlining the significance of German ties with Saudi Arabia, Dr. Feldhaus said: “The Kingdom is specifically a key growth country for us, and hence my current visit is to acquaint myself with the Saudi business environment, talk to customers and also to government officials.”
On the SR4.2 billion ($1.12 billion) Yamama Cement Project, he said it is the largest cement plant ever to be built here. “We are making very good progress on the implementation of the project. Yamama Saudi Cement Company has appointed thyssenkrupp to build two turnkey cement production lines with a total capacity of 20 000 tpd. The plants are being built at a new site about 80 km east of Riyadh,” he said.
“Our partnership with Yamama is built on a longstanding tradition and dates back many decades… We are delighted that Yamama is once again putting its faith in our comprehensive experience in the turnkey construction of complete cement plants worldwide. With our reliable, highly efficient technologies, we are profiting from infrastructure expansion in many growth regions and at the same time contributing to the conservation of valuable resources. thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions is carrying out the contract on an EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) basis. Its scope of supply includes all components for the new lines, from raw material preparation to clinker manufacture to cement loading. The main components include two mobile primary crushers for limestone, three crushers for additives, two crushers for correctives, as well as two circular blending beds for limestone, and various additive storage facilities. The new lines are scheduled to start operation in 2018,” he said.
On plans to visualize cooperation within the framework of the Saudi Vision 2030, Feldhaus said: “The Vision 2030 is an interesting and fascinating set of framework. thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions can play a major role in it. We are much broader in terms of our product spectrum. Saudi Arabia has put more focus on mining, which is also an important specific part of the Vision 2030. Our experience in mining is unmatched and unparalleled. As one of the few full-line suppliers worldwide, we are reliable partners to demanding customers, offering them tailored, cost-efficient and responsible solutions for mining, processing, handling raw materials.
“Our services include designing and building individual machines and complete installations as well as modernizing and upgrading existing systems. From low-cost standard machines to custom systems for extreme conditions — our solutions satisfy all requirements and create lasting value for our customers. To optimize our mining solutions, we use the high-precision, extremely robust radar technology, e.g. for positioning or for volumetric scans.”
Giving a detailed report of the mega projects currently being executed by his company in the MENA region and in the extended neighborhood including GCC countries, the thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions CEO said: “We have had several projects in the region. We have supplied mining equipment to the Ma’aden.”
The company, he said, has completed the Safwa project in Eastern Province of the Kingdom. In Egypt, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions will be building a nitric acid plant as well as an ammonium nitrate plant for Abu Qir Fertilizers. The project will start by the beginning of next year, and the contracts will be concluded soon.
In fact, MENA is a very diverse region and offers many opportunities for thyssenkrupp. It covers 70 countries with different cultures, political and economic maturity. Young populations and dynamic societies create the need for industrial products and services that offer sustainable solutions. This is where thyssenkrupp as a diversified industrial company comes in. “In the region we are particularly strong in Elevator Technology and Industrial Solutions businesses, but present also with Components Technology & Materials Services. In the 2015/16 fiscal year, sales in the region amounted to around €2.4 billion. That’s something our approximately 4,300 Thyssenkrupp employees in the region can be proud of. Our regional headquarters are in Istanbul, Turkey.”
Feldhaus thinks his new technology and services are designed to drive efficiency and competitiveness especially in downstream industry in the Middle East region.
Giving a broad view of it, he said thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions has a line of new technologies and services, which are designed to drive efficiency and competitiveness in the downstream industry in the Middle East. Most of the operation and maintenance programs for the existing plants until now are focused on supervising and executing linear updates and technological exchanges. However, asset management has to go even further and be integrated into the plants’ management and engineering processes, to be able to boost a plant’s efficiency. Combined, engineering competence, plant building experience and integrated asset management help unlock unutilized capabilities and improve the overall performance and efficiency to achieve higher performance and profit margins. “We have been in this region for more than 150 years. We are developing solutions that enable the energy and industrial sectors to operate at their full potential. We are heavily investing in our electro chemical technologies, which will help energy storage,” he said.
“We are in general working on optimizing the energy efficiency and ecology of our plants and technologies. For example for our cement plants, where we are reducing the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.”
On reorganizing the company as part of the transformation program “planets,” Feldhaus explained the changes after reorganization and culture change within the business area, saying “With planets we strategically transform our business area Industrial Solutions. We are setting Industrial Solutions up for future success.” The aim, he said, is to secure growth by increasing competitiveness, focusing more strongly on customers and markets — including a strengthened regional footprint — as well as on expanding our service business. One key element of this is driving cultural change within the business area.
On working for the nationalization (Saudization) of workforce in his Saudi operations and the initiatives that thyssenkrupp has taken to train and employ young Saudis, the CEO said: “We are generally increasing our local capabilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
To achieve this, the company supports the Saudi Arabian engineers program, as part of which Saudis study at German universities, he said.
“Until today, we have already trained 15 of those highly qualified engineers on the job at our technology centers in Germany after their studies. All of them are now working for thyssenkrupp in Riyadh. We encourage and welcome Saudi graduates to apply at our company as we are looking to hire more Saudis in the months and years to come.”