The Shell Petroleum Development Company-operated Joint Venture has trained 15 engineering graduates from the host communities of the Afam VI Power Plant at Oyigbo in Rivers State on the operation and maintenance of combined cycle power plants.
The SPDC, in a statement signed by the Corporate Media Relations Manager, Precious Okolobo,, said the beneficiaries were 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, Afam Power, Ben Agbajogu, was quoted to have said during a ceremony in Port Harcourt to mark the end of the one-year training, “We can confidently say that the trainees are the best set of engineers in the Nigerian electricity industry today.
“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.”
According to the statement, 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.
The member representing Oyigbo constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Chisom Dike, was quoted to have 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.
“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,” he added.
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 Adiele, thanked the SPDC for the sustainable community development programme, which had 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.
According to the statement, Afam VI Power Plant commenced operations in August 2008. The 650-megawatt plant, with its unique combined cycle design, contributes 14-20 per cent 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.