Siemens is investing in the Kingdom twice over, creating more than 1,000 new job vacancies in Saudi Arabia. The German firm is building a switchgear manufacturing facility as well as a service center. When the plant is fully operational there will be 1,000 more jobs for both international experts and Saudis. An additional 3,000 jobs in the Eastern Province will open up created indirectly by Siemens’ plans.
Siemens has a commitment to support the career aspirations of young Saudi Arabians with specific professional programs of recruitment. These plans are in line with Generation21, a company plan that supports education in an effort to inspire the young engineers and scientists of tomorrow, according to the CEO of Siemens Peter Löscher.
Currently about 50 percent of the Kingdom’s population is 25 years of age or younger. The residents clearly need solid education and qualified jobs. Besides plans for these new sites, Siemens is also collaborating with various universities exchanging knowledge, according to an interview Arab News conducted with Löscher.
There are plans for sponsorships of faculty staff focusing on energy topics. Another major concentration will be training for Saudi nationals. Siemens has maintained a leadership position in this regard, both hiring and training special needs candidates for their current Saudi service center and switchgear manufacturing facility. The new location will become a Middle Eastern hub producing rotating equipment and gas turbines, as well as a machinery repair workshop. It will be developed gradually until it reaches full operational status.
The locations will begin assembling turbines for the Kingdom, the entire GCC region and beyond to the Middle Eastern area. It will produce benefits for the local economy with plans for the build up of a local labour force. These facilities will also be beneficial to Saudi customers, such as Saudi Electricity (or SEC) and Saudi Aramco. These firms will experience better operational support from Siemens. A partnership between Siemens and the SEC will also see the development of specialist expertise to benefit the entire Saudi Arabian power industry, according to Löscher.
Siemens is an established partner in the infrastructure of Saudi Arabia. There is a rich history in the Kingdom spanning more than 75 years. Over that time the company has grown to employ over 1,800 residents.
When discussing the Gulf region, Löscher noted that it is vital to Siemens and presents excellent prospects for growth. The established and continuing Saudi presence is a “source of pride” for the firm and represents the consistently strong commitment to the area. Over time Siemens has played a pivotal role in the development of Saudi infrastructure. When considering power, ports, hospitals, public buildings and airports, Siemens can be found nearly everywhere, according to Löscher.
He also stated that the firm has fortified their commitment to the Kingdom with investments in the new service and manufacturing facilities totaling millions of Euros. Gas turbines and various other components will be made in the cutting edge center that will generate leading, sustainable technology. The facilities will be an engineering centre of excellence, as well as a source of employment for many.
Together with a desalination facility, the Ras Azour combined cycle power plant has placed a large order for components with Siemens. These partners will be responsible for the production of drinking water to supply 5 million Riyadh residents, amounting to 225 million imperial gallons of water or 200 L for each inhabitant.
Siemens has received an order totaling over $1 billion. This confirms that the Gulf area is an engine for economic growth and Siemens is pushing the engine harder and faster, by supporting it with sustainable measures, according to Löscher.
When discussing how Siemens will answer the global needs for water and energy, Löscher stated that there would be a 60 percent increase in power generation around the world by 2030. By that time, renewable sources of energy should account for 40 percent of power plant investments. Currently Siemens is the leader in offshore wind power and solar thermal facilities.
To meet the rising demands for energy a mixture of innovative sources is required. Löscher stated that this is why Siemens built the globe’s largest gas turbine, which also happens to be the most efficient turbine in the world. An American customer put in an order for six of these units. A net savings of around $1 billion is expected over the entire life cycle of these products – positive news for both the customer and the climate, added Löscher.
The provision of clean water also requires innovation. About 1.3 billion around the world do not have access to safe drinking water. Since more than 97 percent of the global water stores are salt water, innovations are needed to make use of them. Intensive research and developments in the process of desalination, converting saltwater to fresh water, has resulted in a process that requires only 1 megawatt hour of energy to convert 1,000L of water, according to Löscher.
When discussing future city development, Löscher noted that there are major challenges to deal with. A good quality of life is expected with clean air, safe water and reliable energy. Affordable health care is a necessity, along with mobility and adequate methods of transportation. Experts state that cities around the globe will be investing about 27 trillion euros in power, water and transportation expansions over the next 25 years. Cities, therefore, are the driving force of growth in the future, although they also account for the largest amount of CO2 emissions. This combination means that cities will be the deciding factor for a global climate. Löscher stated that Siemens, with their vast and widespread green portfolio, is a natural partner for finding solutions.Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News