20 September 2012, Sweetcrude, Onne, Rivers State – History was made in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry on Thursday when Cameron Offshore Systems Nigeria unveiled the first made in Nigeria Subsea Christmas Tree at the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone.
The event marks a major achievement in the drive for Nigerian Content implementation as the Christmas Tree was designed in Nigeria; the frames fabricated at Globestar yard in Warri while critical value add activities such as radiography, painting, production of anodes were also procured from within Nigeria.
The Subsea Christmas Tree which was manufactured for Total’s Usan subsea development project offshore Nigeria was assembled and tested at Cameron Base, Onne.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Ernest Nwapa, described the Christmas Tree as belonging to the top of technology ecosystem, adding that the accomplishment was a statement for the maturing of the Nigerian supply chain.
He said that the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act had started to achieve Federal Government’s aspiration of transforming the Oil and Gas sector from an importer of over 95 per cent of the industry needs a few years ago, to one that manufactures inputs used in the industry and other sectors of the national economy.
Nwapa also noted that the industry which used to create millions of jobs in foreign economies had begun to generate jobs for Nigerians through the development of facilities in-country where projects are being executed while indigenes of host communities were becoming active participants in the activities of the industry, thereby creating growth in knowledge, wealth and general well-being.
He commended Intels Nigeria Limited-the management of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone for the support it lent to the assembling of the Subsea Christmas Tree, noting that huge investments in infrastructure and facilities are being made in the zone to support the growth of work-load the industry must place in Nigeria under the Nigerian Content Act.
He expressed hope that new jobs will justify the investments and provide the impetus to replicate similar facilities in other parts of the country.
The Executive Secretary also reported that the Equipment Components Manufacturing Initiative which the Board started to implement recently was receiving positive support from the industry.
“In the next 3-5 years, Nigeria will have over 25 globally recognised Original Equipment Manufacturers making their equipment or major components here, either directly or using their Nigerian representatives,” he said.
“From this segment alone, it is estimated that over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs can be created with a new industrial complex emerging from the exercise.
“Over 30 per cent of total procurement costs for manufactured equipment and spares will be spent in Nigeria.”
Nwapa further explained that the Board’s implementation efforts will be targeted towards ensuring the training of Nigerians to the highest international standards, supporting companies that set up facilities in Nigeria, working with the Nigerian Content Support Fund to drive down fund costs to local entrepreneurs and feeding work into the local industry being created.
In his remarks, Cameron’s, Nigerian Content Director, Mr. Sunny Nwankwo listed some of the key achievements recorded on the Tree build programme.
According to him, “Seven subsea injection Trees have been completed-one installed and six in storage.
Four Trees are work in progress and at various completion stages. Four Nigerian welders have completed training and certification to ASME-IX international level.”
The Director also recounted the impressive growth the company had recorded in the past few years.
He said, “In 2004 when we established Cameron Onne base, we occupied a mere industrial space of 10,000sqm; today it is 40,000sqm. Our staff strength was only about 50 Nigerians, today we are over 200 Nigerians. Over $30million investment in personnel development and infrastructure and tooling. We were in the past importing Christmas Trees, today we are building Subsea Trees.”