A COMMITMENT FOR THE AGES

Kuwait 2019 | INDUSTRY & FOOD | INTERVIEW

Siemens has been Kuwait's technology partner of choice for 60 years, and as the country goes big on renewables and digitalization, the partnership's future role is more important than ever.

Herbert Klausner
BIOGRAPHY
Herbert Klausner joined the regional management team from the Power and Gas Division at Siemens AG in Germany, where he headed Large Gas Turbine Berlin Operations. His career at Siemens spans 38 years, including positions in Kuwait, Indonesia, Austria, and Germany. His current post marks a return after eight years to Kuwait, where he held the position of Group Manager for Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution, Automation & Drives, Industry Solutions, and Siemens Building Technologies. As Kuwait’s strategy focuses on strengthening the economy and supporting social and human development, Klausner is channeling his experience toward supporting these goals through the company’s electrification, automation, and digitalization offerings.

How can Siemens participate in offering tailored digital solutions to the Kuwaiti market?

In 2018, Siemens spent more than EUR5 billion globally on not only developing new technologies and applications but also on updating its existing portfolio. Kuwait's oil and gas sector has to transition toward automation and digitalization because digital technologies will help the country maximize the value of every barrel of oil. Siemens has set up a MindSphere Application Center in Abu Dhabi in order to closely work with customers on developing digital AI solutions focused on the oil and gas and process industries. Data analytics and the use of IoT-connected devices minimize downtime and production losses while saving costs and protecting critical assets.

In which other sectors can Siemens' solutions be implemented?

Besides the oil and gas field in Kuwait, we serve the energy industry. For example, IoT allows components in energy systems to supply data for consolidation, visualization, and evaluation, which drives efficiency and enhances grid safety and reliability. IoT solutions can be a key factor in managing complex future energy systems. In Kuwait, the vision of His Highness the Amir is to generate 15% of total power through renewable sources by 2025. This will require completely new ways of operating a grid. Siemens can deliver not only on the wind and energy solutions, but also provide and support the energy sector with digital solutions to make the grid more reliable, stable, and efficient. Kuwait has a great deal of natural resources such as oil, sun, and wind, and the Shagaya pilot project has proven that it makes sense for Kuwait to invest in these resources. Siemens has been in Kuwait for 60 years and has been the partner of choice for customers and contractors for decades.

What medical devices solutions can Siemens bring to the table?

In the last few years, Kuwait has invested significantly in government and private hospitals. Hospitals provide Siemens with an excellent playing field because it can offer solutions from energy systems, building management systems, digitalization, medical devices, and technologies such as CT scanners and X-ray machines. Our wide portfolio can be adapted to Kuwait's needs, and we are pleased to provide medical institutions with top-notch solutions and equipment.

After one year, what results have you seen in your involvement in the Kuwait Vision 2035?

Siemens Kuwait has signed an MoU with Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and the Sabah Al Ahmad Centre for Giftedness and Creativity (SACGC) with the intention of contributing to the Kuwait Economic Vision 2035. Siemens is providing specialized trainings and programs in the areas of energy and industry for newly graduated students and other forms of labor via the Siemens Power Academy and SITRAIN institutions. In the field of industrial automation, Siemens will roll out the Siemens Mechatronics Certification Program (SMCP) at SACGC, and as part of the program, SACGC will be provided with a mechatronics system and a training program in which the students will be tested and certified. According to our research, the time it takes to bring a graduate up to speed in industry is six to seven years, but with specialist training we will be able to halve this time.

What are your expectations for 2019?

We are fairly positive, and since Siemens has a broad portfolio and a set of capabilities, it can address the needs and challenges of the Kuwaiti market, whether they are in oil and gas, energy, healthcare, or private industry. In addition, because we are greatly focused on digitalization, we see a big market in Kuwait; however, one challenge will be to get the right resources, because digitalization requires different skills in the future. We are keen to continue to build upon our 60-year presence in Kuwait by bringing business to society. We have a long-term commitment, and this pays off. Kuwaitis know that when Siemens takes on a challenge, it delivers.