12/10/2017 19:03 AST

PRINCE Ahmed Bin Fahd Bin Salman, deputy governor of the Eastern Province inaugurated Saudi Aramco-Mitsubishi Hitachi gas turbine maintenance, repair and overhaul facility on Thursday at Dammam Industrial Area II under the aegis of Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud Bin Naif.

The function was also attended by Dr. Saleh H. Al-Awaji, deputy minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources; Dr. Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani, senior vice president — upstream of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco); Khalid Bin Abdulrahman Al-Tuaimi, executive vice president, Generation of the Saudi Electricity Company, and Norihiro Okuda, ambassador of Japan.

Speaking on the occasion, Al Qahtani, Saudi Aramco's senior vice president of upstream, said, “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.”

He 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, 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. 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.”

"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 “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.”

This latest investment is a further step in the long term plans of MHPS for Saudi Arabia which has already achieved over 900 percent growth in its staffing since first coming to the country 5 years ago.

Kenji Ando, MHPS president and chief executive officer, commented: “Saudi Arabia is a key element in our overall strategic vision and is vital to our ability to achieve our goals and objectives. MHPS has strategically committed its long-term support and investment in the Kingdom by enhancing MHPS Saudi Arabia, Co.”

“One of our goals has been to combine the best Saudi talent with our know-how and technological leadership which ensures we on the path of continuing and sustained success. I am delighted that our workforce in the Kingdom consists of 50 percent of Saudi nationals, which also aligns with Vision 2030 which we are pleased to support. The company is also meeting its IKTVA goals and commitments,” he added.

As an advocate of Vision 2030, MHPS is currently exploring measures to support and nurture Saudi youth. MHPS views this as a crucial step and of value to Saudi Arabia’s future ambitions by contributing to ensuring the future generation of engineers are provided the best opportunities in the Kingdom.

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