Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has commissioned a $2 million NLNG Centre for Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Engineering of the University of Port Harcourt.
The project is part of the company’s $12 million University Support Programme.
The centre is the third of six world class science/engineering laboratories to be commissioned by the company.
In November 2015 and March 2016, NLNG commissioned the Ahmadu Bello University Multi-user Engineering Laboratory and the University of Ibadan Engineering Complex respectively.
The University of Port Harcourt laboratory features the first modular petrochemical refinery in a Nigerian university.
The USP scheme was launched in 2014 to help develop engineering education capacity in the country. The other beneficiaries are University of Ilorin, University of Maiduguri and University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Babs Omotowa, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, in his keynote address at the event, said “Today’s official commissioning at the University of Port Harcourt of the NLNG Centre for Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Technology marks a highpoint in the collaborative effort between the two great institutions.
It is an auspicious day for Engineering Education in Nigeria as the laboratory for example is equipped with a modular refinery, the first of its kind in any educational institution in sub-Saharan Africa.
“In keeping with our policy of sustainability, a professorial chair has also been endowed to coordinate the academic and research undertakings at this Centre. You will agree with me that University of Port Harcourt has been positioned as a centre of educational innovation for Africa, delivering high quality oil and gas training to students and putting them on the same pedestal with their contemporaries in other parts of the world.
“As most of you will know, University of Port Harcourt is the centre of excellence in Petroleum Engineering and Petroleum Geosciences. University of Port Harcourt’s Institute of Petroleum won the World Bank African Centre of Excellence grant in Oilfield Chemicals Research and has the highest number of professors in Petroleum Engineering and Petroleum Geosciences in Africa.
“These facilities will hopefully attract fresh research talents to the university and unleash creativity in research and development and potentially boost the university’s global ranking,” he added.
The projects in the remaining three universities are at different levels of completion.
The six universities were selected based on rankings by the National Universities Commission (NUC), other international bodies, as well as long standing contributions to the development of local capacity in Nigeria and their out-standing performance within each of the six geopolitical zones in the country, especially in the area of engineering and technical education.
The USP programme is one of NLNG’s interventions in education. The company administers a scholarship programme that covers secondary school, undergraduate and overseas post-graduate studies. The scholarship has benefited some 3000 Nigerian students.
In Bonny, the company funds Bonny Vocational Centre (BVC), accredited London City and Guilds centre and National Board for Technical Education centre, which produces world class technicians to fill the skills gap in Nigeria.
The company, in partnership with The Nigerian Academy of Science and The Nigerian Academy of Letters, instituted The Nigeria Prize for Science and The Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2004 to honour and encourage excellent innovators and writers. The prizes, the largest in Africa, each come with $100,000 prize money.