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DUBAI, May 25 (Reuters) - General Electric's joint venture to manufacture gas turbines in Saudi Arabia will start production by the end of the year, the chief executive of its state-backed Saudi partner said on Thursday.
GE and Saudi industrial development company Dussur signed an agreement on Wednesday to set up the one billion riyal ($267 million) joint venture in the eastern city of Dammam.
Dussur CEO Rasheed al-Shubaili said manufacturing of GE's H-Class turbines in Saudi Arabia would start before the end of the year with the first turbine to be completed in 2018.
The Saudi made gas turbines would be sold in the country and to international customers, he said in an interview in Dubai.
Dussur, formerly Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company (SAIIC), was established in 2016 by state firms Saudi Aramco, Public Investment Fund, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
It aims to develop industrial sectors in Saudi Arabia as part of the government's plan to create jobs and diversify the oil-dependent economy.
The joint venture followed a memorandum of understanding signed last year by GE and Dussur that is expected to draw nearly 3.75 billion riyals of investment by the two companies in 2017.
Al-Shubaili declined to say when the joint venture, which is 55 percent owned by Dussur and 45 percent owned by GE, aimed to make a profit.
"We're a long-term patient investor. Our investments are going to profitable," al-Shubaili said.
GE and Dussur signed the joint venture agreement days after GE announced $15 billion of deals with Saudi Arabia during United State President Donald Trump's visit to the Kingdom last weekend. ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell. Editing by Jane Merriman)