Nigerian Content: W/Africa’s 1st offshore simulation center opens in Lagos

PEM Onshore personnel04 July 2014, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – – Nigerian Content implementation recorded another milestone on Monday in Lagos as an indigenous oil servicing company, PEM Offshore Limited began to test run its Offshore Simulation and Innovation Center (POSAIC), said to be the first of its kind in West Africa.

The first phase has been set up and when other facilities are put in place, the center will have a full suite of Offshore Anchor Handling Simulation Equipment, Dynamic Positioning, Power Management and Crane Simulation Systems and support the training of local and foreign offshore personnel involved in the oil and gas operations.

It will also meet the growing demand for highly competent and qualified personnel for the highly sophisticated and safety driven industry.
04 July 2014, Sweetcrude, yenagoa – Speaking at the opening of the center, Senior Vice President, PEM Offshore Group, Mr. Philips Eze Matthew commended the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for stimulating investment in marine crew training facilities through the marine vessel utilization scheme.

He also acknowledged the financing arrangement put in place by the Board under the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) model which provides 30 per cent guarantee on loans accessed and 50 per cent interest rate rebate and elongated tenure for loan facilities. All these interventions by the Board made it possible for the company to come to this level, he confirmed.

Shedding more light on the operations of POSAIC, Matthew explained that the company entered into an agreement with Kongsberg Maritime-the original equipment manufacturer for the supply and technical support of the simulation center.

He stated that “PEM Offshore has secured a 5-year commitment from Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) and Agip Energy to utilize POSAIC facility in actualizing CNL and Agip annual scholarship award programme to train Nigerian seafarers.
“The CNL and Agip programme is expected to commit an annual sum of $200,000 that will amount to $1,000,000 within the first five years.”
The Senior Vice President divulged that the company was also in talks with several other international operating oil companies, drilling firms and the Nigerian Navy and was confident that they would patronize the company to reduce capital flight, sustain the local training facility and stimulate more investment in establishment of training centers of excellence
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Engr. Ernest Nwapa lauded PEM Offshore for bringing the project to fruition despite the challenges it experienced while accessing funding from Nigerian financial institutions.

He noted that such investments by Nigerian companies remove doubts about the capacity of Nigerians to own and operate key assets in the oil and gas industry.

Nwapa maintained that indigenous ownership of key assets is the best guarantee that the implementation of the Nigerian Content policy will endure, adding that when Nigerians own assets, they would insist that provisions of the Act must be implemented with regards to domiciliation of industry work. “It will also be easier to enforce manning of such assets by Nigerians with the requisite skills,” he said.

He promised that the Board would protect Nigerians that invest in such facilities by galvanizing the industry to put work in such facilities.

Nwapa also credited the successes recorded so far in implementing the Nigerian Content Act to the courage and leadership provided by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke and the support of President Goodluck Jonathan to the Nigerian Content agenda.
On his part, the General Manager, Nigerian Content, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr. Raymond Wilcox posited that Chevron supported the initiative from the onset because of its total commitment to Nigerian Content agenda as implemented by NCDMB. He assured that Chevron will rally round other international operating companies in ensuring that the facility operates optimally as the preferred center for training seafarers.
Raymond further thanked NCDMB for showing the way and encouraging Chevron to invest in critical capacity development initiatives that will deepen capabilities of the local supply chain.

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