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Local Content: UK subsea engineering firm form JV in Nigeria

Nigeria's local content law, at the weekend received a major boost sequel to the establishment of UK Subsea Engineering and Manufacturing firm, MSCM in a Joint Venture agreement with a Nigerian firm, Padua Petroleum Nigeria Limited, PPNL.

The JV agreement which was disclosed during the 2016 Offshore West Africa Conference, OWA held in Lagos gives rise to MSCM-PPNL Subsea Solutions Nigeria Limited.

Managing Director of PPNL, Engr. Paul Ajisafe informed industry stakeholders present that the formation of MSCM and PPNL Joint Venture is to demonstrate sincere commitment to their presence in Nigeria noting that MSCM holds 49 percent share while PPNL holds 51 percent share in the agreement.

He explained that MSCM's presence in Nigeria is a major boost in fulfilling the Nigerian Content Policy in the oil and gas industry noting that operational activities will commence in six months time.

Through the JV Company, Engr. Ajisafe said they will bring about the much-needed transfer of technology and expertise in Nigeria especially in the highly specialized subsea sector which is the future of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.

He added that MSCM's in-road into Africa makes Nigeria the hub of its activities noting that Nigeria plays a strategic position in the energy industry.

"For so long Nigeria has been short changed and there is need for a paradigm shift whereby foreign companies can come into the country and establish themselves here.

"MSCM has been doing business in Nigeria and there is no way they can continue to take away resources from this country without giving back to the country. That is the basis for our collaboration," Engr. Ajisafe said.

Commenting on services of the JV company, MD of PPNL said: "We are going to offer technical support services in terms of maintenance of existing subsea facilities where our Subsea Products and Equipment's are utilized in Nigeria to ensure minimal downtime in operations and optimal production of these critical offshore assets.

"We are going to provide stocking of critical spares frequently requested by our existing clients for their offshore facilities in-country instead of importing them into the country at short notice. As a result, we will be able to reduce their lead times and ensure quick turn around of these facilities.

"Also a local Rapid Response Team will be available in-country to provide 24 hours service and support to the International Oil Companies and our clients to address their technical challenges with world-class industry solutions.

"Our major goal is to have a manufacturing and assembly facility in Nigeria for our extensive range of Subsea products which is critical to the growth of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry."

Neil Jeffery, Head of Sales MSCM said: "We have supplied products to Nigeria for some projects over ten years now and we see Nigeria as one of the growing areas and there are lots of business opportunities out here.

"During bidding we have been asked what local content can we provide. Then we saw reasons to commence partnership with a Nigerian company.

"When we started talking to the MD of PPNL, we asked him how can we grow local content in Nigeria.

"Local content was stressed during the Offshore West Africa Conference which I think is good for the Nigerian economy and we are committed and excited to be part of it. That's why we have collaborated with PPNL."

Christian Orakwe, Senior Project Engineer Subsea Systems MSCM on his part said the company's objectives is to help transfer subsea technology knowledge from the UK to Nigeria by training Nigerians, build their capacity, give them confidence to help them operate in this environment noting that it is going to be a win-win situation.

"Most of our clients are in Nigeria and we wouldn't want to lose them, we want to give them a quick turn around time for their jobs and make things easier" Orakwe said.

The benefits for the local presence of MSCM and the use of its subsea products according to Orakwe includes: Job Creation, subsea technology transfer, Cost savings (Reduced shipment cost, strategic stock holding), convenience of one supplier (Schedule control/flexibility); confidence of direct interface management; 360 degree feedback; and the availability of a Rapid Response Team in-country.

Both PPNL and MSCM expressed their delight in establishing their presence in Nigeria with the formation of MSCM-PPNL Subsea Solutions Nigeria Limited to render the much-needed services and an assembly/manufacturing facility in country.