Established in the 19th century, General Electric (GE) continues to serve customers in a range of sectors, such as energy, transportation, aviation and healthcare. Acquiring a rich portfolio, the company successfully integrates hardware and software to enable customers to deliver positive economic and environmental impacts, whilst promoting sustainability, innovation and knowledge sharing throughout its operations. GE has produced multi-million-dollar cost reductions and savings for businesses globally, and expanded into Bahrain in the 1970s to support the inventory of company gas turbines. To this day, the company continues to deliver strong procurement and research services, with a focus on environmentally friendly solutions.
Employing over 2,000 individuals within eight countries, GE in the Middle East has built a number of strategic partnerships to ensure quality service delivery to clients and stakeholders. With a focus on reduced emissions, the company has invested $20 billion towards clean research and use of clean energy sources, investing approximately $200 million in Middle East localisation initiatives over the last two years. The region has now become home to the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, an Energy Power Technology Center, an Advanced Research & Technology Center in Qatar Science & Technology Park, the ConocoPhillips & GE Global Water Sustainability Research Center, amongst others.
GE’s focus on providing energy saving solutions links with the company’s launch of Ecomagination, described by GE Ecomagination Executive Director Debora Frodl as “creating innovations which make both economic and environmental sense for customers.” In the last 10 years, GE has amassed over $230 billion in revenue and reduced its emissions worldwide by 12 percent, with a goal to reduce this further by up to 20 percent. With an additional $10 billion placed within research and development operations, GE continues to push the use of renewables and has put aside $13 billion in energy assets to develop this objective further.
Consequently, approximately 40 percent of electricity generated in the Middle East is produced by wind power as a result of GE’s persistent drive within the renewable sector. The company has provided over a thousand turbines in the Middle East, which will be further expanded through a recent agreement by GE Renewable Energy and Fina Enerji in Turkey. GE is set to provide 150 new wind turbines in the region, which will be situated within nine wind farms.
Additionally, the new wind farms will become digital. Incorporating GE’s Predix cloud software, which enables companies to analyse large volumes of data through an integrated service, the turbines will produce significant data analytics and high-quality insights in real-time, increasing overall energy production and detection of any issues, therefore reducing costs. Becoming a platform-as-a-service (PaaS), Predix also works with a number of industrial apps, and allows users to access information, anytime, anywhere.
GE’s success with wind energy has seen the company recently sign a cyber security agreement with Invenergy in the US to secure its fleet of turbines, becoming one of the largest cybersecurity deals in history, totalling $13 million over 10 years.
The implementation of GE’s digital platforms has enabled an overall increase in clean energy worldwide by up by up 20 percent. Juan M. de Bedout, CTO, GE Energy Connections Global research centre has said in whitepaper ‘The Digital Grid and the Environment’: “Our evolving portfolio of digital grid solutions provides new tools for our customers to run their systems more optimally, while at the same time improving their carbon footprint.”
With increased productivity and efficiencies, over 90 products from GE’s portfolio have now been certified as energy efficient. Furthermore, throughout its operations in the Middle East, the company purifies 800 million litres of water for drinking, irrigation and various uses across the Middle East and North Africa region, with Water and Process Technology facilities situated located in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait.
GE’s commitment to providing new, transformative solutions repeatedly impacts the logistics and distribution sector. Enabling companies to move goods with reduced fuel and emissions, Predix software is also incorporated, providing significant data analysis. The company also acquired cloud-based software ShipXpress in 2016 to support the company’s supply chain operations and services, improving shipping visibility within the rail supply chain.
A Letter of Intent with the Ministry of Transportation (MoT) and Egyptian National Railways in the Middle East has also recently been signed by GE. The company will supply 100 GE ES30ACi Light Evolution Series Locomotives, which will be used for passengers and freight, as well as a 15-year agreement for technical support. Totalling $575 million, the agreement has become the largest between the two parties, signifying GE’s dominance within the market. The figure also encompasses technical training aimed at improving the skills of local engineers and workers.
Medhat Shousha, Chairman of Egyptian National Railways, commented: “We are looking forward to bringing the latest technologies to improve rail infrastructure in Egypt. Together with GE, we will work on enhancing the efficiency of rail transportation for both freight and passengers.”
Utilising analytics to transform data into cost saving solutions and reduced emissions, GE’s aviation arm can utilise apps to analyse fuel consumption through Predix. Companies can also personalise flight routes, the overall weight of the aircraft and track its progress, in addition to detecting any potential issues. GE Aviation Service grown significantly in the Middle East, serving over 200 customers in more than 70 countries. With over 50 million passengers, there are approximately 2,000 GE jet engines which support airlines in the Middle East. The company even houses an Emirates Test Engine Facility in Dubai in order to cater for regional and international clientele.
Commitment to communities and staff
With a manufacturing facility in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, GE’s healthcare arm in the Middle East places a significant emphasis on staff development and training. With support and training centres situated in the region, over a thousand biomedical engineers have been trained by GE Healthcare in the last five years. Over 70 percent of hospitals have also adopted GE’s products and services, with a focus on providing high quality care and research development. The company’s venture Healthymagination will ensure significant investments within this area.
With a number of growth opportunities in the Middle East, GE’s is investment in staff development and community work has provided an edge to the company’s operations. With a Graduate Management Program located in Bahrain, GE aims to develop talent in the region, and encourage staff to undertake voluntary work to support the local community. The company has even launched The Women’s Network, encouraging women to pursue and develop their professional talents and skills at the company.
GE’s operations within the Middle East and worldwide are diverse, and will continue to thrive through significant investment and innovative technologies. Watch this space…