Siemens eyes Saudi Arabia for power generation projects

Siemens wins power generation orders in Saudi Arabia, hoping to create an industry around heavy-duty manufacturing equipment.


Siemens AG, which last week won orders exceeding $1 billion in Saudi Arabia, is eyeing the kingdom for power-generation projects as population growth spurs electricity demand, an executive said.

“Saudi Arabia for power generation is the biggest market and they have quite tremendous growth,” said Dietmar Siersdorfer, chief executive officer of Siemens Energy Middle East, in an interview.

The nation’s power needs will triple from a current 40 gigawatts over the next 15 to 20 years, Siersdorfer said.

Siemens, like ABB Ltd. and Alstom SA, is pursuing growth in emerging markets as governments add infrastructure. Orders from developing nations surged 31 percent in Siemens’s fiscal first quarter. Among contracts, the Munich, Germany-based company is supplying parts for a combined-cycle power plant in Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter.

Saudi Arabia’s Ras Az Zawr industrial complex, scheduled to start commercial operations in early 2014, will have 12 of Siemens’s gas turbines, 10 heat-recovery steam generators and five steam turbines.

The company also plans to invest “millions of dollars” in a manufacturing plant that will produce gas turbines in the kingdom, the first project of its kind in the region, said Siersdorfer. The capacity will be additional output rather than a replacement of production elsewhere, he said.

“We will create an industry in Saudi Arabia around this heavy-duty manufacturing equipment,” said Siersdorfer, adding the company aimed to create a total of 4,000 jobs with the project, which is scheduled to be operational in about 18 months. While catering to the local market in the beginning, the plant could export to other countries.

Siemens is also discussing the possibility of building gasification plants in the kingdom that would use crude or waste from refineries, said Siersdorfer.

- Edited by Gust Gianos, Consulting-Specifying Engineer,

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