Siemens breaks new ground with SR650 million manufacturing facility in Dammam
DAMMAM, May 09, 2012 (Menafn - Arab News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Siemens took another giant step yesterday in its quest to expand its footprint in Saudi Arabia when it started laying the foundations for an SR650 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for gas turbines and compressors in the Eastern Province.
Several high-ranking government officials and top executives from Siemens and its local partner E.A. Juffali & Brothers, Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), Saudi Aramco and Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) attended the groundbreaking ceremony in Dammam's Second Industrial City.
Prominent among those who were present on the occasion were Deputy Minister of Water & Electricity Saleh Al-Awaji, SEC President and CEO Ali S. Al-Barrak, SWCC Gov. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al-Ibrahim, Sami Juffali, chairman, board of directors, Siemens Ltd., Siemens Saudi Arabia CEO Arja Talakar, Saudi Aramco Senior Vice President Abdulrahman Al-Wuhaib, Michael Suess, member of the managing board, Siemens AG, and Siegfried Russwurm, member of the managing board, Siemens AG.
"The 220,000 square meter facility, set to be operational next year, will provide a number of jobs to young Saudis," Sami Juffali told Arab News. "As the partner of Siemens in Saudi Arabia, E.A. Juffali & Brothers is extremely proud to be part of their contribution to the development of infrastructure and human capital in the Kingdom."
He said the new factory will help accelerate the Kingdom's industrialization process. "It will serve as a knowledge transfer hub for new Siemens technology and will support the Kingdom's massive drive for industrialization."
The equipment manufactured at the plant will be supplied to the local market, he said.
"This is the first of its kind manufacturing facility for Siemens in the Middle East," said Talakar. "For us, this is yet another milestone in our continuous commitment to Saudi Arabia."
According to Talakar, Siemens has been operating in the Kingdom since the 1930s and employs more than 2,000 employees at five different locations across the Kingdom. The company's massive investment in Saudi Arabia, he said, stemmed from the robust political stability that the Kingdom enjoys in the region.
Suess reiterated Talakar's words. "With this new facility, we are clearly strengthening our long-term commitment to Saudi Arabia; we will create qualified jobs and train young Saudis in order to achieve a true transfer of our innovative technologies," he said.
It was pointed out that Siemens, in association with Saudi Petroleum Services Polytechnic and the Human Resources Development Fund, offers a two-year technical apprenticeship program provided by SPSP, followed by one year of on-the-job training at Siemens. Depending on their job fields, which students will specialize in during the program, they will be trained in various Siemens locations in Germany and the United States. The first 40 Saudi students started their program in December 2011.
Russwurm said while the Middle East has large natural resources, it is also undergoing a demographic shift. "Siemens is ready to serve as a one-stop shop for sustainable solutions in various fields of development such as energy, industry, infrastructure and health care," he said.
Siemens executives said the new facility will meet the highest requirements in terms of sustainability and resource efficiency.
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