Guyana’s first oil and gas centre, which promises to train thousands of Guyanese and foreigners for the lucrative petroleum sector, opened on Friday at Lusignan on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD).
This Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO) is born out of a collaboration among local and international companies: 3t EnerMech, Orinduik Development Incorporated and Windsor Technologies.
According to EnerMech’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Christian Brown, the facility effectively replaces the needs for numerous Guyanese to go abroad to get the training and certification needed to work in the oil and gas industry.
Locals have travelled to the United States (US), Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) and Europe to gain accredited training needed to work at the offshore oil and gas facilities.
“Now with this centre, we can train Guyanese people in the oil and gas sector and other adjacent sectors,” Brown said at the facility’s launch on Friday.
But the facility is also poised to train foreigners as well, since the approximately 450 training programmes are backed by internationally- recognised certification and state-of-the-art technology.
The facility, in its current state, cost about US$20 million. Brown, however, noted that the partners are hoping to expand the facility further.
“This facility is just the start and as the industry grows, we will grow,” he posited.
Guyana’s first commercial heliport, with the capacity for 12 helicopters, will be established at the Lusignan area. There are other plans to develop an aviation/marine polytechnic school, a hotel and business centre.
It was also noted that the centre aims to train and recruit Guyanese.
Already, 80 Guyanese selected through the government’s Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarship programme have benefitted from training at the facility. That training included a focus on health and safety, and key technical skills.
Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, who addressed the launch on Friday, acknowledged that this training is essential for infusing more Guyanese into the nascent oil and gas sector.
He also said that the accredited certification provided will allow Guyanese to be among the top oil and gas workers in the world.
“With an industry that requires high skills and knowledge, it is reassuring to know that these capacities can be imparted to our people without leaving their home soil,” the Prime Minister underscored.
Meanwhile, Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat welcomed the collaboration among the local and international companies to bring about this venture. Bharrat explained that boosting local content, in the sector’s infancy stages, requires the infusion of capital and knowledge transfer from foreign companies.