PIC: Prime Minister Rugunda (2nd from right), ZPEC MD Zheng (2nd from left) and ZPEC officials on either end of the picture. (Courtesy photo)
KAMPALA - Uganda's prime minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has met with officials of a Chinese oil rig and drilling equipment company, ZPEC (Zhongman Petroleum Natural Gas Group Company Ltd) to discuss promotion and development of local content in the oil and gas sector.
During the meeting, Rugunda assured ZPEC of a good investment climate in Uganda and stressed that it's government policy to encourage local content.
He was happy with the ZPEC initiative to partner with local companies with the aim of transferring technological skills to Ugandans.
Expected local job creation and training will be 2,200 locals. These will include riggers, slingers and oil field engineers.
Henry Zheng, the ZPEC managing director, said the company has the intention of transferring oil field service technologies to Ugandans.
ZPEC is listed on the Shangai Stock Exchange and has two rig manufacturing plants in Chengdu and Shanghai in China, according to a statement from the company.
The oil industry will need over 13,000 workers at peak when production starts such as welders, engineers, lifters, geologists and truck drivers.
In order to work in the oil industry, a potential employee must have international certification.
Uganda currently has one national training institute, the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK), which is preparing Uganda for the oil service industry.
The institute offers a diploma in technical skills related to oil and gas and additional six-month training in Trinidad and Tobago.