Power Play

Siemens Outmaneuvers GE in the Desert

Siemens beat GE to get the Saudi contract.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Lucrative deals that Siemens has secured in the Middle East have averted mass layoffs at the company’s Berlin plant.

  • Facts


    • The Siemens plant in Berlin will be working overtime to fill Saudi Arabia’s orders for gas turbines, worth €500 million ($552 million).
    • The first Siemens gas turbine built in Saudi Arabia left the Siemens Dammam Energy Hub in May, destined for Saudi Aramco’s new power plant.
    • Siemens recently celebrated the 1,000th turbine for Qatar built in its Berlin plant, and is in the process of delivering a complete tram system to Qatar’s capital Doha.
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German engineering giant Siemens has been outmaneuvering archrival General Electric to land big deals in the Middle East.

Its most recent win is an order for €500 million ($552 million) in gas turbines, to be built at Siemens’ plant in Berlin.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Germany, Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, told Handelsblatt the deal was done, saying: “I’m very happy that Saudi Arabia’s highest business council, under the guidance of his highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has approved this project.”

A Siemens spokesman confirmed the news, telling Handelsblatt: “We’re aware that the project has been approved by the top economic council and we’re in close dialogue with our Saudi partners.” The company could not make further comment at this early stage in the deal, he added.

Siemens’ success comes even after General Electric’s chief executive Jeff Immelt has made targeted efforts to win business in the region. He recently traveled to Saudi Arabia twice, on one occasion meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman along with U.S. Foreign Secretary John Kerry. The discussions focused on a large contract for gas turbines. But in the end it was Siemens that hooked the contract.

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