GE marked a new milestone in its operational presence in Kuwait with the opening of the GE Kuwait Technology Center (GEKTC), a flagship facility that will foster localised research, provide hands-on training and build an innovation ecosystem specifically for the power sector.
Approved by the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) for a foreign investment license last year, the 6,000 sq m GEKTC, based at Agility in Sulaibiya, is the first facility of its kind outside of the US by GE, underlining the company’s long-term commitment to Kuwait, its people and the wider region, said a statement from the company.
As part of a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Kuwait University (KU), the centre will drive localised training and research and development (R&D) in power generation in Kuwait, supporting the goals of Kuwait Vision 2035 to nurture youth talent and create high quality jobs in the technical sector, it said.
An integrated training, tooling and engineering facility, the centre has three core components: A training centre supporting over 900 students and technical professionals each year, tooling centre to offer repair and maintenance services, and engineering centre for cutting-edge research and development, it added.
The engineering centre will also house a monitoring and diagnostics centre and a controls simulation laboratory providing local capability to monitor GE’s connected turbine and generator fleet across the region and supporting GE’s digital industrial applications including Predix, the world’s first and only cloud-based operating system for the industry, said a statement.
Highlighting GE’s focus on digital industrial transformation by integrating big data with heavy machinery to achieve unprecedented levels of operational efficiency and productivity, the GEKTC team will also work with Kuwaiti researchers, industry and software developers to co-create digital industrial solutions for the power industry, it said.
Ahmed Al Jassar, Minister of Electricity and Water, said: “This technology centre reflects the commitment that both the ministry and GE have to promote, develop and sustain future Kuwaiti and international talents to serve the power industry in the Middle East region with future prospects to serve the world.”
Meshaal Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah, director general of the KDIPA, said: “The centre is a strong investment by one of the world’s leading companies highlighting the strong competitiveness of the Kuwaiti economy.”
“Apart from serving as a key pillar in supporting the country’s energy sector, the centre is also placing emphasis on localised innovation and Kuwaiti talent development. This complements the goals of KDIPA in promoting inward investments to ensure transfer of technology and with a strong focus on talent and skill development of Kuwaitis, as well as meeting the country’s national vision and development priorities,” he added.
Manaf Alhajeri, CEO of Markaz, said: “Our company is proud to be working with GE and KDIPA as a financial advisor and a partner in this project, which plays a pivotal role in importing power generation technology to the State of Kuwait.”
“We are confident that the centre will have a strong regional significance and result in considerable value-add to the local economy. This is an early indication that KDIPA’s single-window framework will have a huge positive impact on bringing important projects, like this one, to the State of Kuwait in the future,” he added.
Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power, said: “GEKTC is a landmark initiative that underlines our deep commitment to foster Kuwaiti technical talent in the energy sector.”
“A co-creation ecosystem that is defined by close collaboration between industry and academia, the centre will not only be an innovation hub but also enable us to service our customers better and support them in strengthening the competencies of their professionals in advanced digital industrial technology,” he said.
“The path-breaking R&D at the centre is aimed at driving the productivity and operational efficiency of our customers, especially through co-creation initiatives on GE’s digital industrial technologies, thus helping meet the goals of Kuwait Vision 2035 to achieve the country’s transformational growth,” he concluded.