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Vowgas Success Testifies to NCDMB’s Commitment to Local Content Development—Wabote

Vowgas Success Testifies to NCDMB’s Commitment to Local Content Development—Wabote

By Prosper Okoye

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has praised the successes achieved by the Nigerian oil and gas fabrication company, Vowgas Limited. Engineer Simi Wabote stated after the 12th Practical Nigerian Content delegates toured the organisation’s facility in Port Harcourt that the success attests to the board’s commitment to ensuring the success of local businesses.

“The implementation of the Local Content Act enabled Nigerian companies to reach their current stature, with priority consideration in contract awards. This has, over time, facilitated MG Vow Gas in developing its facility,” said Wabote, represented by the board’s Stakeholder Engagement and Government Relations, Engineer Mofe Megbele.

Vowgas Success Testifies to NCDMB's Commitment to Local Content Development—Wabote

He went on to dismiss concerns about long-term sustainability, attributing them to the “dedication and drive” of Mr. Godwin Izomor, the Group Managing Director of Vow Gas. “I have known him as someone capable of building sustainability for over 30 years.”
Engr. Megbele said he knew Izomor from his little beginning as “a portfolio-carrying businessman sharing an office with some friends.”

“I was genuinely impressed when I entered this facility in 2017. With each subsequent visit, there has been a notable expansion. I must express my high level of admiration for the accomplishments evident on the ground. This stands as a testament to what local content can achieve. Some 35 years ago, no company was undertaking the activities that MG Vow Gas engages in today.

“They likely began operations by welding four-inch and six-inch pipes and have now progressed to constructing vessels with a tonnage of 400,000. It signifies remarkable development, and the board takes pride in being part of these achievements.”

In his opening address at the PNC forum, Wabote noted that local content had increased from 12 percent in 2016 to 54 percent in 2023.

Mr. Anthony Ogilo, Government and External Relations General Manager at MG Vowgas, said the organisation is committed to establishing itself as a notable indigenous player in Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation, and Commissioning (EPCIC).
“I commend the continuous efforts and dedication of the NCDMB board under the capable leadership of Engr. Simbi Wabote in promoting indigenous expertise in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. It has become a role model for other African countries to follow, and we assure you that we will persist in making significant contributions to the growth and development of local content within the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and beyond,” said Mr. Ogilo, representing the GMD, Mr. Izomor, in a welcome address.

Similarly, MG Vow’s Project and Infrastructure General Manager, Okorie Chidebere, highlighted the organisation’s endeavours to nurture local talent.

Vowgas Success Testifies to NCDMB's Commitment to Local Content Development—Wabote
“Ninety-nine percent of our workforce comprises Nigerians. We have assembled a team of exceptional individuals, giving priority to people through training programs. Some team members have even travelled to Australia and India to acquire essential skills. This commitment to enhancing the workforce’s capacity directly contributes to MG Vowgas’ growth. Oil and gas companies in Nigeria no longer need to do their fabrication jobs abroad. With a projected workforce of approximately 4,000 workers, this would directly impact the nation’s GDP and conserve scarce foreign exchange.”

On the Facility Tour:

Vowgas Group’s Fabrication Manager, Timothy Steven, led the delegates around the facility. He mentioned that the company is situated on a vast land area of one hundred and five thousand square metres.

The facility is divided into two primary segments: the light-duty fabrication workshop and the heavy-duty fabrication workshop. The Light Duty Fabrication Workshop focuses on tasks weighing less than 50 tonnes, whereas the Heavy Duty Fabrication Workshop handles fabrications exceeding 50 tonnes in weight.

Within the Light Duty Workshop, three sections serve distinct purposes. Section one is dedicated to sub-assembly work and is equipped with a CNC machine capable of cutting up to 250mm thick carbon steel plates and 80mm thick stainless steel plates. Additionally, it features a Davi rolling machine capable of shaping steel plates up to 106mm thick for pressure vessels, piping, and structural fabrications. Section two is designated for fit-up and welding activities, while Section three focuses on welding processes, helping to decongest Section two, as similar works can be carried out in both.

The Heavy Duty Fabrication Workshop is equipped with a dish head forming machine, four phlanging and pressing units, and a CNC machine capable of handling up to 312mm thick carbon steel and 100mm thick stainless steel. The workshop features four overhead cranes with a 25-tonnene capacity each, totaling an impressive 100-tonnene capacity.

The headroom in the Heavy Duty Workshop stands at approximately 14.2 metres, allowing for the accommodation of external mobile cranes when necessary. Adjacent to this workshop is the modern blasting and painting facility, currently undergoing an upgrade with the installation of a jumbo and equipped with an extractor fan to prevent dust transfer.

Furthermore, behind this facility lies the state-of-the-art post-weld heat treatment furnace, the largest in West Africa, capable of handling weights up to 200 tonnes and temperatures up to 1200 degrees. The furnace, powered by LPG with 40 burners and 4 air blowers, conducts stress-relieving heat treatments at 630 degrees and normalises at 130 degrees. The control room within the furnace houses Human-Machine Interface (HMI) panels, allowing real-time monitoring through SCADA and PLC systems.

MG Vow Gas also boasts a reinforced load-out jetty for efficient loading and storage, in addition to its two weather-protected storage warehouses, complemented by outdoor spaces. Facilities like fire trucks, ambulances, and a retainer clinic were also shown to the team.

Mr. Steven said the organisation engages in engineering procurement, construction, and site installation and operates in both onshore and offshore locations. “Currently, MG Vow Gas is actively involved in laying a 5.8-kilometre pipeline for Chevron, undertaking turn-around maintenance for the Escravos gas plants, and revamping their offshore asset. Other prominent organisations that patronise MG Vow Gas include Agip and Shell.

The NCDMB Manager of MG Vowgas Group, David Editang, emphasised in an interview that the tour was essential to showcase what Nigerians can achieve when supported. “It is a celebration of Nigerians believing in the Nigerian dream,” he remarked.

He mentioned that the facility was established after meticulous analysis and the identification of market gaps.

“With some of the largest equipment in West Africa, we aim to penetrate the regional market. We believe that this can have a significant impact on the entire region, positioning MG Vowgas as a one-stop-shop for all needs.

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