Newly commissioned O&G training facility opens doors

With boundless avenues for rapid growth and transformation emerging, a concerted effort is underway to equip Guyanese for opportunities within the booming oil and gas sector.

While this accelerated growth poses many challenges, proactive measures are being employed to tackle these issues. Crafting a skilled workforce is a top priority, as part of this strategy. 

The government has embarked on a nationwide campaign to provide world-class education and upskilling opportunities to Guyanese, ensuring that local content remains the pinnacle of Guyana’s oil and gas development.

As part of this agenda of bolstering the oil and gas training arena, on Friday last, a US$13 million oil and gas Facility Simulator (FacTor) was commissioned at Port Mourant.

This project is the first phase of the wider Guyana Technical Training College Inc (GTTCI), which is an alliance between the Government of Guyana and the Stabroek Block coventurers, ExxonMobil Guyana (EMGL), Hess Corporation and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). 

The facility is the first of its kind in the region and is designed to give practical training for multiple programmes, enabling trainees to practice calibration, troubleshooting and maintenance activities on facilities that mirror the conditions aboard a Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel.

The fully functional simulated plant can accommodate a batch of 24 students. The Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke with several students who are part of the first batch of trainees.

For Shannon Tungcap, who is a mechanical technician trainee on the project, being exposed to hands-on training, and dealing with complex equipment has been a unique learning experience.

He envisions a future where Guyanese can dominate the industry.

“I see myself moving up the chain of command within the oil and gas sector, to a position where I can advise and train other persons in similar ways,” he said.

Arantra English, a trainee electrical technician, highlighted the value of the facility, saying that it will bring a significant boost to local content.

“This is important because it means we have our facility in Guyana, instead of having to depend on other places, and we can expand within our country. As a female within this industry, it is important for me to be a role model for younger girls who would like to join the industry, and to help them develop their skills within the industry,” she told DPI.

Another student, Priya Singh, said “It is of extreme significance to the Guyanese people because it provides them with the opportunity to be trained in various trades. If they have a passion for the engineering field especially, I would say this is the right path to go on.”

Joshua Gouveia, who is a production technician trainee, commended the investment in bringing world-class, technologically advanced instruction to Guyana’s shores.

“As a young Guyanese, this is an amazing feeling, especially to be the first batch here. It is something that words cannot express enough. It should be appreciated by Guyanese because it is great to have young people being trained within the sector,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Region Six, David Armogan, said that the opening of such a facility is an important development for the region.

“I’m glad that so much emphasis is being placed in this region. A lot of things are being resuscitated, a lot of new investments are coming into this region, and I’m glad that the government has chosen this region, and particularly Port Mourant, for this facility,” he commended.

He encouraged the young people in Berbice to grasp these opportunities, recognising that prior, there were not that many opportunities for training in such nuanced industries.

“We have to prepare our people for the next ten, 15 years.  Now, this kind of skills development is here, we have the New Amsterdam Technical Insititute, we have the Board of Industrial training doing quite a lot of work in the region, and now this institution, plus the hospitality institute is coming here, so we have many opportunities for training, for young people to get ahead in this country,”