GE starts manufacturing of subsea Well Heads in Nigeria
An American leading energy service firm, General Electric (GE) has embarked on a new project aimed at manufacturing subsea Well Heads in Nigeria.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of GE oil and Gas, Uzochi Nwagwu, who disclosed this in a chat with journalists in Lagos at the weekend, said that this milestone represents a lot more than complying with the local content laws.
“This is not about ticking the box on local content compliance, it’s about localizing our people, localizing our capabilities, localizing our suppliers and localizing the training and human capital.
This is the only thing that makes sustainable business sense to support our huge investments in the country,” he said.
Specifically, he noted that GE is seeking to increase the competitiveness of the solutions for the Nigerian oil and gas industry, the domiciling of subsea wellhead fabrication will give Nigeria based operators the opportunity to buy locally and avoid delivery related delays or save on cost while supporting the growth of Nigerian content in the oil and gas industry
According to Nwagwu, Onne is a facility that was built back in 2002, the facility it is the first and only quayside facility of its calibre in Nigeria, with an exceptional safety record, and is a cornerstone in GE’s commitment to country’s oil and gas industry, which continually expanding capabilities, the site provides complete assembly, testing and life cycle service for subsea tree systems, subsea control modules, specialty connectors and pipe.
It also includes a dedicated on-site training centre and offers broad business development opportunities for local suppliers.
Nwagwu described the establishment of the subsea wellhead fabrication capabilities in Onne as a “true win-win proposition for indigenous industry and the Nigerian content agenda.
“One of the things that we are most proud about is the fact that most individuals that are actually working in our businesses are Nigerians, right from the top to the bottom.
GE in Nigeria has more than 85 per cent of our leadership teams as Nigerians. All the engineers and technicians that are involved in the fabrication are Nigerians who have been trained within and outside the country,” he stated.
According to him, the new multi-model manufacturing and service facility in Calabar will serve as a regional hub for GE oil and gas as well as other GE industrial businesses, which include training facilities to enable knowledge transfer and career advancement opportunities for local talents. “GE is a solution provider. We try to move just been transaction type of people to be solution providers.
We see ourselves as supporting fuel in the future, there is huge demand for oil and there is a huge demand for gas, there is a growing population globally and there is a growing need for energy utilization both for power stand point.
What we see, is ourselves been able to provide solutions to the industries, and be able to monetise and to discover nature resources oil and gas in the most difficult place in the world and we are here to bring that back”, he stated.
In addition, GE is collaborating with the Government technical college, Calabar to develop academic programs to prepare students for opportunity to work at this facility.
Nwagwu said, GE has signed agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria to support the financing, design and building of infrastructure and capacity across key sectors of the economy, including rail, power and healthcare.
“Our approach is to empower people by building valuable skills, equip communities with new tools and technology, and elevate ideas that are helping to solve Africa’s challenges”, he stated.
On the reason for Calabar as choice of destination, Nwagwu said, Calabar is a nice place to live and also a free trade zone and it is close to water, with that we can easily bring in equipments, which are heavy parts that needs to be brought in by sea as well as offshore locations.
“When we make that decisions to build that office in Calabar, we recognise that Calabar will allow us to hire more Nigerians, the plans was actually to hire potentially 300 Nigerians, indirect staffing as well as our supplier base is going to be over 2000”, he stated.
GE’s portfolio of technology solutions is well aligned with Nigeria’s infrastructure needs, and is contributing to economic development and improved quality of life in the region.