Angolan company Operatec has partnered with Namibians to construct a multi-million dollar marine and industrial training academy at Walvis Bay.

The academy will provide specialized and internationally certified training for local marine personnel in the oil and gas industry.

With the discovery of oil and gas in Namibia, it is crucial for Namibia to have appropriate skills for employment.

"We're going to give a basic offshore safety survival training course. It doesn't matter if you are a doctor, the IMO of the rig, or an engineer; there are training that you need before you board an oil rig, and it doesn't matter what kind of profession you are; for example, your TBOSI is a must; you cannot go without it," said Absalom Fillipus, shareholder at Operatec Marine and Industrial Training Centre Namibia 

Operatec and the local partners revealed this when they paid a courtesy call on the Walvis Bay mayor to inform him about the project.

The Walvis Bay Municipality has approved the request to lease a portion of land at Farm 39.

"As a council, we are very excited that we took the step to make Walvis Bay conducive for investors, and as we know, Walvis Bay is expanding in different areas and different sectors; the oil and gas industry is moving now, and we cannot sit around and see our children not getting jobs or not benefiting from these endeavors coming to Walvis Bay. So we want to see our children, our people from Walvis Bay and Namibia at large, going into this industry, the oil and gas industry, working on the rigs, and not for those people to import laborers," said Walvis Bay Mayor, Trevino Forbes.

According to Operatec Marine and Industrial Training Centre founder, Alberto Figueirdo, the company and the local partners have invested about US$500,000 or N$1.9 million as start-up capital.

"First, we will start with the maritime and offshore training course to give the accreditation capability to those that work offshore, but then we will expand to the technical course, which is welding, training of the welders, training of the electricians, people that work in instrumentation, mechanical for those that are young and don't have experience."

The company has committed to training unemployed local artisans who are willing to go and work offshore in the oil and gas industry.


Renate Rengura