Port Harcourt — The Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCO, on Thursday donated laboratory equipment worth over $700,000 to meet the learning needs of students at the
Offshore Technology Institute, University of Port Harcourt.
Items donated include a Toyota bus, softwarepackages, laboratory equipment, tables, workbenches and chairs to strengthen the Offshore Technology Institute at imparting knowledge and application of new technologies in the oil and gas industry.
Managing Director of SNEPCO, Mrs Elohor Aiboni, said the equipment will equip the students with to knowledge of various engineering design, construction and installation of oftshore and subsea structures, including computer simulations.
Aiboni said the investment was made possible through the umbrella of maintenance of subsea infrastructure on the Bonga Northwest field, and it is expected to develop the cognitive and technical abilities of students, for the benefit the industry and the country.
She assured that Shell Companies in Nigeria, will continue to collaborate with the academia to grow nation’s human capital capacity, because the company recognises that growth and development of Nigeria and her capacity to innovate; all depends on the quality of human capital.
“We also recognise that equipping Nigerian students with these skills and competences thrive in world-class research institutions, intellectually rich and technology enabled environments.
“As a result, Shell Companies in Nigeria have endowed targeted professorial chairs and centres of excellence in Nigerian universities to be the fulcrum for encouraging research and development in Nigeria. This is in addition to the fact that we continue to welcome academics in our operations for sabbatical and research internship programmes.
“At today’s ceremony, we are inaugurating investment worth about $700,000 to meet the learning needs of students at the Offshore Technology Institute, University of Port Harcourt.
“The impact that we wish to address by donating these set of equipment and software packages is for the PIPESIM, ANSYS and Abacus Software packages, to impart knowledge to students in various discipline of engineering design, construction and installation of oftshore and subsea structures; including computer simulations and investigative features.
“For the laboratory equipment, to equip the institution and students with tools to carry out civil and construction tests, 3D printing and engravement capability, measurement and metering technology, robotics, alternative Energy Technologies and Data Acquisition Learning System.”
Aiboni represented by SPDC Manager, Social Performance and Social Investment, Dr Gloria Udoh, said infusion of technology with education has become integral to the sustenance of societies, while charging the staff and students of OTI to ensure the equipment are used without harm to people or to the environment, as safety remains a cardinal principle of SNEPCo.
She said the company is committed to increasing her social investments to institutions like OTI, her host communities and the country, while appealing for an enabling environment that would allow the company to run her operations without disruption, to enable them put more funding to social investment.
“So, we expect this investment to support the programs at OTl by aiding practical and hands-on learning, for example, in pipeline integrity testing – an area in which OTl had often relied on International Oil Companies tor assistance with students practicalexperience.
“This also creates further opportunity for the entire university community to which OTI is affiliated. For engineering and physics departments, the laboratory becomes a shared facility to complete learning cycle of theory and practical.”
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, tasked the university of Port Harcourt on the use and maintenance of the equipment, in order to encourage SCiN and other industry stakeholders for more interventions.
Wabote represented by the General Manager, Corporate Service and Logistics, Mr Halilu Abdulmalik, urged the school to put in place procedure for constant training of technicians at the laboratory, as well as repair and maintenance culture for consistent utilization of the equipment.
For his part, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Development, University of Port Harcourt, Prof Iyeopu Siminialayi, thanked SNEPCO for providing the school the equipment, which he said would helped in the training and churning out skilled and competent manpower.