By Dipo Olowookere
GE Oil & Gas has opened a new facility in Takoradi Port, Ghana, expanding its global footprint and supporting local investment.
The company committed to deliver more than 45,000 training hours for Ghanaian personnel over the next five years, as it seeks to build a world-class team locally.
The facility, which will be the primary service center for deep-water offshore projects in Ghana, has a 1,600 square meters indoor test area with capability for testing three subsea trees (XTs) simultaneously, and 4,000 square meters of indoor and outdoor storage.
This new infrastructure is already playing a critical role in supporting the installation for Eni’s Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) project – for which GE Oil & Gas is supplying subsea and turbo machinery equipment-and will support the local community by helping to provide direct employment opportunities. It will also provide welcome support for the local supply chain, and for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Lorenzo Simonelli, president & CEO of GE Oil & Gas, attended the opening ceremony today with customers, suppliers and local Government representatives. “The opening of the GE Takoradi facility demonstrates our commitment to developing local partnerships and capacity building to deliver effective and efficient solutions for our customers,” said Simonelli. “Localization supports growth in the communities in which we work, while increasing our productivity. As a global company, GE is uniquely-placed to have a well-rounded economic impact on the regions where we operate. We are committed to partnering with Ghana to help support building critical skills and developing infrastructure for the country’s future growth.”
Along with committing to delivering a comprehensive training program for the local workforce, GE Oil & Gas has recruited more than 30 Ghanaian staff to work at the new facility, including two fully-trained field service engineers who are now working offshore to support the installation phase for the OCTP project.
GE Oil & Gas partnered with Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and Ashesi University College in a two-phased approach to local capacity building, including education and skills development, and a small to medium enterprise (SME) development program. The partnership is helping to develop the next and future generations of the oil and gas workforce, providing them with practical learning opportunities and access to technical expertise, locally.
Ado Oseragbaje, president and CEO Sub-Saharan Africa, GE Oil & Gas, said: “Ghana has decades of development potential and we are excited to provide support to a project that will act as an important energy source for the country for many years with minimal environmental impact, while also driving the development of local infrastructure and capacity-building. We have the strength and scope to be able to stay close to our customers, work where they work, and invest in the training and facilities required to reduce complexity, provide faster turnaround of equipment deliveries, support our partners and build a solid talent pipeline in-country.”
The U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Ambassador Robert Jackson, was present at the inauguration and commended GE for making such a sizable investment and setting a great example for American companies in the region. “GE is known for its leadership in technology and innovation,” said Ambassador Jackson. “Here in Ghana, GE has partnered with our USAID-funded Supply Chain Development project to build the capacity of local Small and Medium businesses. That’s not only a commitment to Ghana, it’s a commitment to transitioning from donor funding toward private sector-led growth.”
GE was awarded an $850 million order for the supply of equipment to the OCTP block in 2015. This order incorporates both GE Oil & Gas turbomachinery and subsea elements and GE Power Conversion electric motors, an example of the ‘GE Store’ at work – drawing technologies and expertise from across the company.
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