French Company Total E&P Uganda has boosted the National Content Capacity pool by unveiling the first group of internationally certified oil and gas welders at Buhimba Technical Institute in Hoima district.
The unveiling follows the successful completion of an intensive 3 months training course on 2G and 4G coded welding undertaken by the students and assessed to the American Welding Society Standard.
The 50 welders form the first and second intakes of students selected in 2018 and 2019 out of a pool of 600 applicants to take part in the inaugural welders training programme sponsored by Total.
They have been equipped with the highest level of oil and gas welding skills in line with the industry, Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) standards and requirements.
Pierre Jessua, Total E&P Uganda General Manager said the unveiling was the culmination of several months of hard work and commitment by the students, trainers and the supervisors of the training programme that aimed at giving an opportunity to young people from the Albertine and pipeline districts to participate in the development of the oil and gas sector in Uganda.
“As sponsors of the programme, we are excited at the prospect of having internationally qualified-home grown craftsmen working on a project of this magnitude. They have been equipped with internationally recognized skills and competencies that make them highly employable in the job market anywhere in Uganda and the world in any industry they choose to pursue their careers in,” said Jessua.
The specialised training undertaken by The Assessment and Skilling Centre (TASC) with close monitoring from the German development agency (GIZ) involved technical classroom training, as well as practical welding classes conducted at Buhimba Technical Institute in Hoima District for 2G welding and Lwengo Technical Institute in Lwengo for 4G, coded welding.
Hoima Resident District Commissioner Samuel Araali Kisembo, who was the Chief Guest at the Graduation Ceremony commended Total E&P Uganda for the programme and the contribution it is making towards preparing Ugandans to take part in the oil and gas sector.
“Total E&P Uganda remains committed to playing a critical role in the development of Uganda’s oil and gas sector and we are continuing to work with the Joint Venture Partners and the Government of Uganda to ensure that we can undertake a Final Investment Decision on the project as soon as possible. Once FID has been achieved, there will be an intense resumption in our field activities as we work our way towards commercial production of oil,” Jessua added.
Total E&P Uganda is preparing to begin the next intake of 75 students who will undergo the same training later on in the year. The welders training programme is expected to equip 200 students with an international level of oil and gas welding skills.