General Electric (NYSE: GE) has commenced fabrication of subsea wellheads at its Onne facility in River State. This achievement comes at the culmination of 4 years of planning, capital investment and training of Nigerian personnel to establish the first of its kind capability in Nigeria. The new investment has resulted in a 40% increase of covered work shop area at Onne facility and additional permanent staff.
This was disclosed in Lagos by the President and CEO of General Electric Nigeria Dr Lazarus Angbazo. With this development, surface well head systems used in drilling for Oil and gas on land and offshore will now be done in GE’s Oil and gas facility in Onne, Rivers state. Nigerian engineers have also been trained within and outside the country to operate these facilities.
This development aligns with the Federal Government’s local content law and the clamour for capacity building, skill acquisition and technology transfer. However, Uzo Nwagwu says for GE, this milestone represents a lot more than complying with the laws on local content. “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 the human capital. This is the only thing that makes sustainable business sense to support our huge investments in the country,” said Nwagwu.
GE Oil & Gas is continuously seeking to increase the competitiveness of the solutions for the Nigerian Oil & Gas industry, the domiciling of subsea wellhead fabrication will give Nigeria based operators the opportunity to buy locally and avoid delivery related delays/save on cost while supporting the growth of the Nigerian Oil & Gas industry. Dr. Angbazo referred to the establishment of the Subsea wellhead fabrication capabilities in Onne as a ‘true win-win proposition for the indigenous industry and the Nigerian Content agenda.’
Nearly all the engineers and technicians that will be involved in the fabrication are indigenous Nigerians who have been trained within and outside the country. Only recently GE announced that it had sent the first batch out of the 15 newly recruited technicians and engineers to Brazil for training in the assembly and test of subsea equipment.
Actual manufacturing operations will begin in GE’s oil and gas facility in a couple of months in Onne, Rivers state. Operating since 2002, this purpose-built facility is the first and only quayside facility of its calibre in Nigeria. It has an exceptional safety record, and is a cornerstone in GE’s commitment to the country’s Oil & Gas industry. With 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 center and offers broad business development opportunities for local suppliers.