By Fred Kiva
Total E&P Uganda, the lead company on the Tilenga Oil Project has launched a training of welders in Buliisa and Lwengo Districts. The training is aimed at improving the employability of Ugandans from the Albertine region and East African Crude Oil Pipeline areas.
The training will develop a domestic pool of internationally certified welders of the American Welding Society Standard. The training will be held over the course of at least 24 weeks and will initially benefit 200 welders from Nwoya, Masindi, Nebbi, Buliisa and Hoima, as well as the districts along the pipeline route, to include Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba, Sembabule, Lwengo and Kyotera.
Total E&P Uganda General Manager Adewale Fayemi said in all its operations worldwide, Total considers national content as key for the success of its operations and Total E&P Uganda is no exception. “Therefore our plan is to maximize the use of local manpower, local goods and service providers. This indeed is in line with the National Content regulations,” Fayemi said
The Total boss added that as Uganda’s oil and gas project is steadily moving into the development phase, a strategy has been developed to strengthen the National content potential and the ability for local companies to compete favorably.
“During the development phase, a lot of technicians will be needed for the project. It is therefore essential to train and certify technicians such as welders to enhance their knowledge and skills required to not only meet the demands of the project but also ensure that the highest standards of safety are considered. Due to the highly technical nature of the industry, quality and safety cannot be compromised,” Fayemi added.
Fayemi revealed that Total E&P has partnered with GIZ, the German development agency with whom they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which GIZ will use its expertise and experience in capacity building programs to closely monitor the project’s implementation. He says this will ensure the desired quality of candidates is attained from the yearlong program.
The training will be conducted by 2 Ugandan Companies, Q-Training also known as the The Assessment and Skilling Centre (TASC) and E360 Group Ltd. The two companies have commendable experience in providing manpower services for the past ten years, serving clients in large multi – national companies in the region.
Two central locations have been identified to conduct the trainings; Buliisa district for candidates from the Albertine districts and Lwengo district for candidates from the pipeline districts. The trainers will perform technical training and certification of candidates up to 2G and 4G coded welding levels in line with the industry standards and health, safety and environment training among others. Following the training, Total will ensure that the certified welders are taken on in preparation for the development phase of the project.
According to Total E&P Public Relations Officer Chris Ocowun, candidates will be selected by application model. “Calls for applications to the training will be made through radio advertisements on local stations, vocational training institutes, district officials and local government offices,” Ocuwun said.
About Total in Uganda
Total has been present in Uganda since 1955 through its marketing operations, and has over 125 stations countrywide. Total E&P Uganda is an upstream affiliate which is leading the development activities towards production in the Tilenga project area - Exploration Area 1 (EA-1) and Exploration Area 2 North (EA-2N) within the Albertine Region.