“The inauguration of a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility for gas and steam turbines and compressors represents a new milestone in the fruitful cooperation with Saudi Aramco's strategic partner, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd.,” said Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani, Saudi Aramco's senior vice president of Upstream.
Al Qahtani was speaking at the inauguration ceremony for Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd.’s new facility in Dammam on 12 October 2017. The event was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Ahmed bin Fahd bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Vice Governor of the Eastern Province. Al-Qahtani added: “The signing of a major long-term supply agreement in 2014 marked the beginning of cooperation between Saudi Aramco and Mitsubishi Hitachi.”
Al-Qahtani also noted the wider significance of the new plant. He said: "This investment is important for three reasons: First, this facility represents an important element of Saudi Aramco's ongoing commitment to establishing a world-class supply chain and services ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. This is a strategic objective and cornerstone of the In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) Program, launched by Saudi Aramco two years ago to double local content by 2021.”
“Second,” he added, “this investment is instrumental in achieving one of the important objectives highlighted by Vision 2030, namely to increase small and medium size enterprise (SME) contribution to the Kingdom's GDP.”
Al Qahtani said the third and most important reason is that the investment represents a commitment to the Kingdom’s invaluable human capital - the young men and women whose work is an essential component of the IKTVA program. The availability of well-trained Saudi Arabian talent, according to Al-Qahtani, represents the most crucial aspect of job creation and localization. Saudi Aramco has realized this aspect and, therefore, entered into partnership with the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), and in collaboration with a group of leading industrial companies, to establish 15 centers of excellence, mainly based in the Eastern Province, with an existing capacity of nearly 10,000 trainees. These centers are fulfilling the Saudi energy sector’s needs of technically-qualified young people.
Such centers complement Saudi Aramco's distinguished legacy of human development. “These centers are the only link between training and employment and demonstrate a successful model that we have been trying over many years and it proved to be highly effective. We hope that this model will be adopted on a broader scale as a cornerstone of the national development,” he added.
"We aspire to make the new Eastern Province-based facility a model to be followed by both private and public sectors throughout the Kingdom,” Al-Qahtani said, noting that “the Saudization levels are still low in maintenance jobs, but there is potential to be increasingly filled in by Saudi professionals, promoting greater value addition and benefiting the nation and all stakeholders.”