A Nigerian oil servicing firm, Lee Engineering and Construction Company, has established a $100 million fabrication plant in Warri, Delta State to meet the fabrication needs of multinational companies in the oil and gas sector.
The newly completed oil and gas production plant, according to the chairman of the company, Chief Lemon Ikpea, is dedicated to produce high pressure vessels, heat exchangers, gas-heat exchangers, water bath heaters, glycol, skits, scrubbers, process modules, tanks and flare systems as well as carry out maintenance on existing pressure/process vessels and its components.
He said the vision of the new plant was to build an indigenous world-class manufacturing and fabrication workshop that would serve the industrial needs of Nigeria and Africa, especially in the oil and gas, and power sector.
Ikpea added that he was motivated to set up the fabrication company in order to contribute his quota to the oil and gas sector and also to tap into the local content drive of the federal government.
Under the local content scheme, government encourages indigenous companies in the oil and gas sector to provide services to the big players in the sector and benefit from its financial resources.
He told newsmen in Warri: â€œIf you look around the oil and gas sector, most production are done outside the shores of this country and if we fold our hands and wait for governmentâ€™s foreign friends and partners to transfer technology to this country, I donâ€™t see that happening, considering the market situation.
â€œIf they transfer technology to you, the question to ask will be, who will be buying from them? So they will be reluctant to do that. Our mission is to produce high quality, reliable and durable products through competent workforce and best technology within regulatory laws. We intend to change the existing orientation of clients procuring similar components abroad with scarce hard currency and, in the process, boost national economy and reduce procurement lead timeâ€.
Saying the companyâ€™s intention was to support the government in creating jobs for the teeming unemployed youths and save huge foreign exchange for the nation, he stated: â€œWe decided to key into the local content policy of government, which was enacted into law in 2010. We want government to give more power to the Nigerian Local Content Management Board to ensure that Nigerians fully participate in any investment, expansion and Greenfields to be established in many parts of this country. It is from there that our people will learn, build capacity, learn on the job, and also the government will save half of what is meant to originally go to foreign companiesâ€.
He disclosed that as part of the companyâ€™s local content policy, Lee Engineering has so far sent 50 technicians and engineers to The Netherlands for training, adding that by the time the fabrication facility is fully operational other trainees would also be sent to The Netherlands and other parts of the world for training in marketing of the products and the and after sale services.