MODEC Ghana, operators of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, and Tullow Ghana Limited have partnered the Regional Maritime University (RMU) to build a state-of-the-art Welder Training Centre on RMU’s campus in Accra.
The $1.6 million training centre would be accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS) and its training programmes would be in modules which would accommodate 20 students at a time.
The first of its kind, the centre is equipped with the best welding equipment and training technology in the region.
According to Mr Papa Benin, Project Manager at MODEC, the initiative is in support of the country’s desire to realise a larger local representation in the oil and gas sector.
“This partnership between MODEC and RMU is a mutually benefiting enterprise,” said Mr Papa Benin.
“In that both organisations get the opportunity to leave footprints in Ghana’s agenda of becoming labour sufficient in the oil and gas industry and the destination for internationally accepted training programmes and institutions.”
The Regional Maritime University was chosen for this initiative after meetings and provisional visits were conducted to potential sites to identify viable and realistic locations for the proposed Welder Training Centre in 2013.
The school already has a welder training facility and its vision to produce local labour for the oil and gas industry was in tandem with MODEC’s dedication to Ghana’s petroleum local content policy and the recognition of the skill and certification gap among locals in welding and fabrication.
“Majority of indigenous people who call themselves ‘welders and fabricators’ do not have any formal education and practical training as well as the required international certifications,” said Neil Woodcock, Country Manager of MODEC.
“This lack of certification makes the engagement of Ghanaian welders difficult in the upstream petroleum sector. It is for this reason that MODEC has embarked on this capital intensive project to bridge the skill gap in the oil and gas sector.”
Lauding MODEC and Tullow Ghana Limited for this initiative, Mr Addy Lamptey, Provost of RMU, pledged continual and proper maintenance of the facilities.
“We are grateful to our partners and are extremely excited that we are on our way to achieving our aim of churning out an increased skilled-labor pool for engineering associated companies and in the long run help Ghana’s quest to become a major energy hub in the Region,” he said.
The Welder Training Centre is expected to accept its first class of students in July.