Siemens is to create 1,000 new jobs in a double investment in the Kingdom.
Siemens Chief Executive Officer Peter Löscher
The German company is to build a switchgear manufacturing plant and a service center and when fully operational, the plant is expected to provide 1,000 more jobs for Saudis and international experts. In addition, another 3,000 jobs will be created in the Eastern Province as an indirect result of the company's plans.
In Saudi Arabia Siemens is committed to supporting the careers of young Saudis through targeted professional recruitment programs. This goes along with Siemens program Generation21 that strongly supports educational activities in order to inspire tomorrow's young scientists or engineers, says Siemens Chief Executive Officer Peter Löscher.
"Today, around 50 percent of Saudi Arabia's population is younger than 25. There is a clear need for good education and for qualified jobs. Apart from our plans for the new production sites, Siemens is strongly engaging with several universities for collaboration and exchange of knowledge," Löscher told Arab News in an interview.
"We are planning to sponsor faculty professors for energy related topics. Training of Saudi nationals is another major focal point, where we have been one of frontrunners in training and hiring candidates with special needs," he said, adding that Siemens already runs a manufacturing plant for switch gears and a service center in the Kingdom. The new facility will be a hub for the Middle East and will produce gas turbines and rotating equipment. It will also be a workshop for the repair of machinery. This is going to be a gradual development until the site starts operating full steam, he added.
The facility will first start assembling turbines for Saudi Arabia, the whole of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and wider Middle East. "This will benefit the local economy as we plan to build up a local work force. It's also good for our customers in the Kingdom. For example, Saudi Aramco and Saudi Electricity Co.
(SEC) will benefit from the new facility as we can better support their operations. Moreover, Siemens' partnership with SEC will help develop specialist-engineering expertise for the whole power industry in Saudi Arabia," Löscher said.
"Siemens is not a new infrastructure partner to Saudi Arabia. We are proud of a history in the country which spans over 75 years. In this period we have grown to more than 1,800 employees," he added.
When asked about Siemens' answer to the energy and water hungry world, Löscher said the global amount of power generated would increase by more than 60 percent by 2030. By then, renewable energy systems are due to account for 40 percent of the investments in power plants. Siemens is already No.1 in offshore wind power and leading in solar thermal plants.
"In order to meet the growing energy demand you need a mix of innovative energy sources. For example we built a gas turbine, which is not only the largest on earth but also the most energy efficient. A customer in the US ordered six of these record turbines. He expects a net saving of about $1 billion over the whole life cycle. This is both good for the climate and the customer's wallet," he added.
Innovation is also crucial for providing clean water to the world. With 1.3 billion people lacking safe drinking water worldwide, salt water accounts for over 97 percent of the world's water stores. We need to make use of this. Due to our intensive research and development desalination plants process saltwater to freshwater with only one megawatt hour of energy per 1,000 liters of water, Löscher said.
About the development of future cities, he said: "Cities around the world have to cope with major challenges." Residents expect a good quality of life. They need clean air to breathe, good water to drink and reliable electricity to power their lives. People need affordable health care. They also need to be mobile and have adequate transportation systems in place. Experts predict cities worldwide will invest around 27 trillion euros in expanding their water, power and transportation systems over the coming 25 years. Thus cities are growth drivers of the future. Yet they also account for the biggest share of CO2 emissions. This makes cities the decisive factor for our climate — and Siemens is a natural solution partner as we have the largest green portfolio worldwide, Löscher added.