ACCRA, General Electric (GE) Oil and Gas has inaugurated a new facility at Takoradi Port, about 220 kilometres west of here, to expand its global footprint and to support local investment in the sector.

The company, which has committed to delivering more than 45,000 training hours for Ghanaian personnel over the next five years, seeks to build a world-class team locally for the facility, which will be the primary service centre for deep-water offshore projects in Ghana.

The facility has a 1,600 square metre indoor test area with capability for testing three subsea trees (XTs) simultaneously, and 4,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor storage.

Lorenzo Simonelli, the President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Oil and Gas, a member of United States conglmerate GE, attended Wednesday’s opening ceremony of the facility with customers, suppliers and government representatives

He said the new infrastructure was already playing a critical role in supporting the installation for ENI’s Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) project, for which GE Oil and Gas was supplying sub-sea and turbo-machinery equipment.

“It will support the local community by helping to provide direct employment opportunities. It will also provide welcome support for the local supply chain, and for small and medium-size enterprises. The opening of the GE Takoradi facility demonstrates our commitment to developing local partnerships and capacity building to deliver effective and efficient solutions for our customers,” added Simonelli.

He said GE was committed to partnering with Ghana to help support building critical skills and developing infrastructure for the country’s future growth. As part of their commitment to delivering a comprehensive training programme for the local workforce, GE Oil and Gas had recruited more than 30 Ghanaian staff to work at the new facility, including two fully-trained field service engineers who were working offshore to support the installation phase for the OCTP project.

He said GE Oil and Gas was also partnering Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and Ashesi University College in a two-phased approach to local capacity building, including education and skills development, and a small to medium enterprise (SME) development programme.

He said the partnership was helping to develop the next and future generations of the oil and gas workforce, providing them with practical learning opportunities and access to technical expertise, locally.