Sunday, February 5, 2023

Guyana, Ghana companies partnering to supply workers for offshore rigs

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Ghana headquartered Unicon Western Engineering Services –a subsidiary of Unicon Western Holdings –has teamed up with a Guyanese company, Amazonia Expert Services Limited, to launch UNICON Guyana Inc. (UGI).

UGI will be responsible for recruiting and training labourers for work on oil rigs operating offshore Guyana.

The company was launched with the signing of an agreement at the Herdmanston Lodge in Georgetown, Guyana on Monday, by representative of the Amazonia Expert Services Limited Dr. Arlington Chesney, Chief Operations Officer of Unicon, Mark Lord Ebbah, Chief Executive Officer of Unicon, John Bonney and Director of the new UGI, Dr. Patrick Antonie.

Dr. Chesney, former Executive Director of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), is the Chairman of UGI.

Speaking at the launch, he said, “…persons outside of oil tend to be carried away with oil rigs and think you have to be rocket scientists to be involved but then there are lot of services that we can do; the painters, the mechanics…the welders, so the training is to make people careful and on the right aptitude.”

“You cannot be successful unless you have well-trained, motivated and loyal staff,” he added.

UGI’s theme is “Partnership for People Centred Petroleum Development.”

Dr. Chesney said the goal is to see more Guyanese being employed in the sector. He said the training programmes will teach individuals the basics of the sector and ensure there are no workplace accidents.

Training is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020.

Amazonia was recently formed and is owned by Dr. Chesney and other CARICOM nationals who are also looking to invest in Guyana’s education, agriculture and tourism sectors, among others.

Unicon Western Engineering Services (UWES) was established in April 2016.

Chief Operations Officer of the company, Mark Lord Ebbah, a Drilling Engineer, said based on his company’s work in the past seven years and visits to Guyana over the past six months, “Guyana is the next success story and we are proud to be a part of this story.”

Ebbah said his company has worked with Global drilling companies, sub-sea companies and local material suppliers.

Ebbah explained that in 2017, UWES formed a joint venture partnership with Stena Drilling Limited (UK) to which it provides Quality Control management for coating fabrication packages on and off shore, corrosion control and prevention services, fabric/pipe maintenance services, provision of offshore labourers, tank cleaning and access solutions, among others.

He said the company aims to become the largest oilfield service company supplying local goods, services and equipment.

Stena Carron’s Rig Manager, Chris Hutton also addressed the gathering where he noted that “providing trained and highly motivated Ghanaian crew to the rigs…and offering appropriate training…has contributed to Stena drilling’s excellent performance in Ghana.”

He added that such a partnership helped to promote more local content in the petroleum sector.

The signing is the first such partnership between a Guyana and a Ghana company and follows a visit from Ghana’s President, Mr Nana Akufo-Addo’s to Guyana in June of this year.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings spoke at the ceremony where she noted that the Guyana Government is pleased that the company has taken on the business of equipping interested persons with the technical skills and training they need to work and earn in the oil and gas sector.

She said the Government is pleased to see the investor confidence in the country and the level of international partnerships that are taking place.

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