DOHA, Qatar - General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is establishing a major new technology facility, the GE Technology and Learning Center, at the prestigious Qatar Science & Technology Park. 

Located in Qatar's Education City, the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) provides world-class facilities and services for companies to foster local technology development and training, create opportunities for scientists and entrepreneurs across the Gulf, and promote the region's industry and society. 

GE's commitment in research and training at QSTP was announced today at the Qatar Foundation's headquarters during a ceremony involving Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, QSTP chairperson; Dr. Abdulla al Kubaisi, QSTP chief executive; and David Calhoun, GE vice chairman. 

GE's broad technology experience will be showcased at the new center. Its focus will be technical training for customers of GE's Aviation and Energy businesses in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia. In addition, GE's Global Research Center, Oil and Gas, and Water divisions will undertake the research and development of technologies applicable to local industry. Qatar's need for new technologies is growing as quickly as its economy, with investment in the energy sector alone forecast at $70 billion over the next five years. 

Construction of GE's facility at QSTP begins in 2006 and is expected to be fully operational in 2007. GE also intends to use the facility for customer technical conferences and forums. GE staff will manage the center with representatives from the GE divisions providing training. 

"Qatar Foundation aims to enhance the intellectual and scientific capabilities of the country, and for this reason, we warmly welcome GE's facility," said Her Highness Sheikha Mozah. 

"With our diverse and world-class technology, GE can bring unique capability to the Qatar Science & Technology Park," said David Calhoun, GE vice chairman. "For more than 70 years, GE has fostered technology development in the Middle East region, and we are committed to grow in partnership with our customers. We are excited about expanding our efforts to address the goals of Qatar and in playing an important role in the country's infrastructure development." 

GE's leadership in several technology areas will drive the following activities in the new technology and learning center: 

AVIATION: The majority of the investment in the GE center will provide education and training in jet engine maintenance. Aircraft fleets powered by GE jet engines in the Middle East are growing significantly and creating new opportunities for airline flight-line and maintenance crews. The engine training will focus on overall familiarization, line maintenance, borescope inspection, troubleshooting, diagnostics monitoring, and fleet management. In addition, the center will provide technical and mechanical services to airline customers through GE's On-Wing Support program. 

ENERGY: For regional employees and customers, training will focus on plant asset management, condition monitoring, equipment operation and maintenance, and leadership development. Energy will conduct courses in fully equipped labs, simulating a refinery or powerplant control room, or in product demonstration stations. 

GLOBAL RESEARCH CENTER: Applied research will be conducted to enhance the region's technology and economic goals. Among the many potential areas of research: 

*Water technologies -- the applicability of large-scale desalination and purification of seawater, brackish, and wastewater; and industrial gas-to-liquids technology. 

*Emissions technologies -- plan collaboration with local universities and governmental entities to help develop the emerging environmental standards in Qatar. 

*Oil & gas infrastructure -- to improve the reliability and durability of Qatar's oil and gas equipment, including pipelines and installations, in the hot weather environment. 

OIL AND GAS: Plan calls for a team of engineers to work primarily on new product initiatives and development. There will be a focus on turbomachinery technologies key for efficient and environment-friendly uses of local oil and natural gas reserves. The facility will serve as aftermarket and field support for regional customers. 

WATER: A desalination and water re-use center will be staffed by scientists and engineers to develop new water and process technologies. The team will focus on applying proprietary GE technologies to Qatar's regional needs. 

GE is a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world's toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at