|Photo Via Sweetdrude|
The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Operated Venture has trained 15 engineering graduates from Afam VI Power Plant at Oyigbo in Rivers State on the operation and maintenance of combined cycle power plants.
They are the second set of 30 graduates from the host communities to benefit from the initiative which incorporates training sessions in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
The Project Manager of Afam Power Plant, Ben Agbajogu, said, “We can confidently say that the trainees are the best set of engineers in the Nigeria power sectror today.”
Agbajogu disclosed this during a ceremony in Port Harcourt to mark the end of the one-year training.
He added, “The trainees have been adequately equipped theoretically and practically on operating and maintaining modern power plants, and can compete favourably with their counterparts anywhere in the world.”
However, the training included exposure of the graduates for 11 months at the Afam VI Power Plant, to operating and maintaining a combined cycle power plant and one-month specialised certificate training at the Osborne Training Services Newcastle, United Kingdom.
Chisom Dike, member representing Oyigbo constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly said that the initiative had become a personal dream come true, as he recalled how SPDC accepted his proposal as a youth leader about 12 years ago to train over 100 youths in various skills.
He further said, ‘The success story of that initiative today is that our youths are major participants in virtually all construction and fabrication projects undertaken anywhere in Oyigbo Local Government Area and beyond.’
The Rivers State Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, John Bazia, advised the graduates to make the best of the opportunity of their training by exploring entrepreneurial opportunities and providing employment to others.
The traditional ruler of Ayama community, Eze Elijah Adiele thanked SPDC for the sustainable community development programme, which has given bright future to graduates from Afam Power Plant communities.
The Power Plant Operations and Maintenance training programme began in 2013 with a set of 15 graduates of engineering background trained in Bangkok, Thailand.
Afam VI Power Plant commenced operations in August 2008. The 650-megawatt (MW) plant, with its unique combined cycle design, contributes 14-20% to the national grid, requiring only two-thirds of the gas needed by many of Nigeria’s existing power plants to generate each unit of electricity.