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DAMMAM: General Electric Saudi Advanced Turbines has been awarded a new contract to build three gas turbines at Aramco’s Tanajib oilfield, based 200 km north of Dammam in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province.

The deal was handed out by South Korean conglomerate Samsung, which is the engineering, procurement and construction manager of the project, with Saudi Aramco as the end-user, said GESAT CEO Hassan Elokdi in an exclusive interview with Arab News.

Dammam-based GESAT is a joint venture between Saudi industrial investments firm Dussur and US-based engineering giant GE to manufacture heavy-duty gas turbines and components in the Kingdom, founded in 2017.

The project involves supplying three gas turbines with a total capacity of 100 megawatts of power.

“This is a long-cycle project, we expect the first gas turbine to be ready in the first quarter of 2023, and then every three to four months we will build another turbine” Elokdi added.

(stock image of gas turbines in a modern industrial factory)

The last unit will be delivered during the first quarter of 2024, said Elokdi on the sidelines of GESAT’s fifth-anniversary celebrations.

GE and Dussur, signed a new memorandum of understanding to expand the scope of GESAT by adding further products and services, on May 16.

Since it was founded, GESAT has also exported over 160 component kits around the world, including the US, Mexico, Brazil, Malaysia and Europe.

Elokdi said exploring new markets was essential during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak to make up for the shortfall in demand across the region.

“GESAT has been actively working to maximize its exports as well as supporting local demand in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

The engineering head said heavy industry will require a few more years to recover from the slowdown caused by the health crisis. He expects demands to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

Elokdi said: “The manufacturing process is typically a long-cycle business. To manufacture one of our products could take a couple of years. So, it would take a long time to fully recover.”

GESAT is keen to adopt the Kingdom’s localization workforce targets, with Saudis making up 65 percent of its staff, while 14 percent of its employees are female.

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