Total E&P Uganda, the lead company on the Tilenga and EACOP Projects has unveiled the first batch of welding students to be trained as part of the welders training programme launched earlier this year.
The welders form the 1st batch of 25 out of the 200 students targeted for this initiative. The shortlisted candidates will undertake specialised training in 2G and 4G coded welding levels in line with the industry standards and requirements.
The training comes at a time when the company is preparing for a Final Investment Decision on the Tilenga and EACOP projects which will kick start the construction phase of the projects.
The training is therefore aimed at enhancing the employability of Ugandans from the Albertine region and East African Crude Oil Pipeline areas.
The commencement of the training follows a transparent selection process carried out by the training consultant The Assessment and Skilling Centre (TASC) with the involvement of the local leaders from the Albertine districts and along the pipeline route in Uganda.
So far, two training centers have been set up, one in Buliisa to cater for candidates from the Albertine districts, and the other in Lwengo district to cater for candidates from the pipeline districts.
Each batch of 25 candidates will undergo 3 months training which will involve technical classroom training as well as practical welding.
While speaking at the unveiling ceremony held at Buhimba Technical Institute in Hoima recenty, Total E&P Uganda Integrated Project Representative Jean Yves Petit said the programme is very important.
"It signifies our commitment not only to the development of Uganda’s oil project but also to the empowerment of Ugandans to take an active and crucial part in the overall development of the oil project in Uganda.
“It is a strong commitment on our part specifically towards our host communities as all of the welders being trained here today originate from the areas around the pipeline districts and the Albertine region.”
The training will enhance the students’ knowledge and skills in order to meet the anticipated demands of the project as well as also ensure adherence to the highest standards of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment.
At the conclusion of the training, the students will be internationally certified welders of the American Welding Society Standard if they pass Certification tests. This will increase their employability not only within the oil and gas sector in Uganda but also in other sectors and in other countries.
“The training of the welding students comes at a crucial time in the project cycle as we prepare for the Final Investment Decision for the Tilenga and EACOP projects.
When this decision is taken, we can all expect that activities will rapidly increase shortly thereafter as we start construction of all the project facilities such as the Central Processing Facility and the pipelines.
The importance therefore of these welders cannot be understated. They are receiving training that is of international standards and this will make them employable not only in Uganda but internationally”, said Petit
"We are equally happy to announce that we have decided to train welder inspectors because quality control is absolutely key in the industry," Petit revealed.
The welders training programme is expected to equip 200 students with the highest level of oil and gas welding skills. The programme is fully funded by Total E&P Uganda.
Total E&P Uganda has also partnered with GIZ, the German development agency through a Memorandum of Understanding under which GIZ will use its expertise and experience in capacity building programmes to closely monitor the project’s implementation