The Ministry of Petroleum through its Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project (OGCBP) last week commissioned two states of the art laboratories, a chemical and petrochemical laboratories for Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)’s College of Engineering.
In an address delivered on his behalf at a ceremony held at the University, the Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah indicated that the Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project seeks to improve public management and regulatory capacity while enhancing transparency; and strengthening local technical skills in Ghana’s oil and gas sector.
The Minister emphasized that “to date a total amount of US$12.9 million has been spent on KNUST’s laboratory refurbishment, goods and equipment, and training”.
Vice Chancellor of the school, Prof. W. O. Ellis thanked government for the continuous support in building the capacity of the University.
Prof. Ellis assured the government that the University will apply strict maintenance rules to ensure that the laboratories are always in good condition.
The Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project has supported KNUST in various ways. To date, a total of 11 staff of the University have benefitted from postgraduate education abroad, according to the Ministry.
This consists of seven Master of Science Degrees (MSc) and 4 Doctorate Degrees (Ph.D). Six of the MSc have been at the post since the beginning of the 2014/2015 academic year and constitute the foundation of staffing in the petroleum Engineering programme.
A number of short-term visits by international staff to lecture on the existing undergraduate programme have also been facilitated by the project.
Furthermore, books and reference materials have been procured and installed in the College of Engineering Library. A new building housing the six thematic petroleum engineering laboratories and equipment were commissioned in April 2015.
A space has also been refurbished in the chemical and petrochemical laboratories for chemical and petrochemical engineering.
According to the ministry, equipment worth about US$2.5 million has been procured and set up in 4 thematic Labs: Process Development Lab, the unit Operations Lab, Biotechnology Lab and Instrumentation lab.
Prof. S. I. K Ampadu, Provost, College of Engineering in a special recognition address at the event stated that the College of Engineering is now well-equipped to train students in both upstream and downstream sector of the oil and gas industry because of the Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project (OGCBP) by Government.
Currently, what remains outstanding for KNUST under the OGCBP is the completion of training of 4 Ph.D. students in the Petroleum and Petrochemical Engineering Departments.
It is expected that 2 Ph.D. holders will return to the College of Engineering later this year while the remaining two will join the faculty next year. In addition, 7 laboratory staff have been earmarked for training this year on the use of the newly installed equipment.
Other beneficiary institutions under the Oil and Gas Capacity Project since 2010 include: Petroleum Commission (PC), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO), Attorney General’s Department (AG), Regional Maritime University (RMU), Takoradi Technical Institute (TTI), Kikam Technical Institute (KTI) and Ministry of Petroleum (MoPET).