Signalling its increasing investment in work with partners in Saudi Arabia, international power giant Alstom has announced the launch of a new power generation services workshop programme at Rabigh in Makkah Province in the Kingdom’s Western Region.
As part of Alstom's commitment to the Saudi drive for sustainable growth and economic diversity, the Rabigh workshop will handle the reconditioning of gas turbine components as well as the inspection and repair of a wide range of other power plant equipment. The new workshop project follows the doubling in capacity of Alstom's Generator Repair & Rewind Workshop at Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates, announced in February this year. Both investments are part of Alstom’s strategy to increase its local presence in the Middle East.
The announcement was made by Philippe Cochet, Alstom Thermal Power President during his visit to Saudi Arabia. Mr. Cochet and senior Alstom Power executives met with top SEC officials today, including Chairman Dr. Saleh Alawaji and President and CEO Mr. Ali Saleh Al-Barrak, to consolidate the longstanding and close partnership between the two organisations at Rabigh and elsewhere.
“This exciting venture allows us to further build on excellent relationships with our key local customer SEC and other Saudi partners. Alstom is keen to assist in the Kingdom's impressive efforts to forge a vibrant and proficient future for the country. Together with our partners we support the strong, sustainable drive to localise and modernise the key services necessary for a steadily expanding regional power sector”, Philippe Cochet said.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after the official handover of the 1.2 GW steam power plant Shoaiba III to the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC). Located 100 km south of Jeddah, Shoaiba III is part of the fourteen unit Shoaiba complex known as the 'Giant of the Middle East', which was executed by Alstom in partnership with Saudi Archirodon and with the full support of SEC teams and management. Shoaiba power plant now delivers 5,600 megawatts to the Saudi grid, making it the largest operating plant in the Middle East.
Strategically located at a crossroads between Africa, Asia and Europe, with all the transportation and business development benefits the Red Sea has to offer1, the Rabigh facility will be the best-equipped and one of the largest workshops of its kind in the Kingdom's Western Region. The initiative will extend local partnerships through investment in resources and people, and act as a beacon of excellence - delivering Alstom's high quality services and products to partners like SEC and other key customers in the expanding Middle East market.
Notes Nader Abdellatif, Alstom Country President for Saudi Arabia: “Our thirteen year-long partnership with SEC on Shoaiba stands testament to the depth of understanding we at Alstom have of the region, and the Rabigh workshop similarly demonstrates our deep belief in, and commitment to, Saudi sustainable growth and the development of local talent.”
The multi-stage project will commence with the construction of a state-of-the-art, 5,000 sq m services workshop. To facilitate later growth of the site, a 26,000 sq m tract of land has already been acquired to allow for expansion. This will subsequently encompass a training centre for both Alstom personnel and for customers, with staffing levels expected to rise two-fold following the initial phase of development to meet demand.
The training centre will nurture the skills of a local Saudi workforce in line with the very latest, world-class technical developments associated with Alstom to meet the challenges of high efficiency, environmentally-sensitive turbine technology.
The venture has the support of the Saudi Electricity Company, whose President and CEO Mr Ali Saleh Al-Barrak, remarked: “We have always found Alstom to be an excellent partner who understands our needs here in the Kingdom. This new training facility at Rabigh shows that like SEC they are committed to a skilled, localised labour force. We commend Alstom for this initiative and the benefits it will bring to the Saudi economy.”
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed between Alstom and SEC to establish a pilot Expert Development Training Programme. The brainchild of SEC's leadership, this programme will embed top SEC experts within Alstom Businesses for on-the-job training placements, and further cement Alstom's commitment to developing local expertise. Alstom is among the first companies to support SEC in this venture and will increasingly take more candidates, following the successful completion of the pilot.
1 The workshop links in to the Saudi government's own 'Economic Cities' programme. Under this, three new cities – King Abdullah (Makkah province), Knowledge (Al Madinah) and Jazan (Jizan) – are being established along the strategically important Red Sea corridor where Alstom's workshop will be sited. These well-planned, modern conurbations will draw vast numbers of people together around a wide range of industrial and service activities, with each Economic City focusing on a different sector – meaning that the Alstom project will have both a large pool of talented candidates from which to recruit, and a considerable customer base with which to do business.
Christine Rahard / Isabelle Tourancheau (Alstom Group) – Tel +33 1 41 49 32 95 / 39 95
Sapna Lalwani (Alstom Power) – Tel +41 56 556 33 42