A USA-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Global Faith Partners (GFP), has announced its launch of a welder training program to provide local content for projects that are developing the country’s deep water natural gas assets, LNG and shaping the future of Tanzania as an East African energy hub.
The program, announced by Michael J. Vallez, P.E., MBA and his team at Global Faith Partners (GFP) expects to equip up to 5,000 Tanzanian workers over the next decade with advanced vocational skills to fill local content requirements on a variety of energy-related mega projects including construction of a $30 billion mega facility to liquefy Tanzanian natural gas into LNG for export to Asia and Europe.
GFP has worked in Tanzania for 20 years, developing programs to fight poverty through education.
In June Tanzania signed a framework agreement with international energy majors Shell and Norway’s Equinor to reboot the plan to build an LNG export terminal on the Indian Ocean near the town of Lindi (or Likong’o-Mchinga in Swahili) with a final investment decision targeted by 2025 and construction to be completed by 2030.
GFP is partnering with the Tanzanian Ministry of Energy and other civil society and government educational organizations across Tanzania, as well as the American Welding Society to create Africa’s first weld testing and certification facility in Tanzania as well as establish vocational training programs, particularly in welding, at schools across the East African country.
The partnership’s “School to Work Program” envisions training a cadre of 10 to 20 Tanzanian apprentice welders in Houston, Texas over one year’s time with the goal of their returning home to become trainers themselves.
Such an approach would exponentially grow the country’s pool of skilled laborers capable of not only filling jobs on international projects, but of giving back to their communities and advancing the economic development of Tanzania.
“This program has been designed to address a common challenge often witnessed in large-scale projects,” said Vallez, Founder, Chairman and Executive Director at Global Faith Partners. “An investment in local training can be a big benefit to the project investors, as well as the workers of Tanzania.”
“Training local workers reduces political risks associated with a lack of skilled labor,” he added.
“This will truly be a program run by Tanzanians for Tanzanians. With our background in large scale engineering and construction projects, and working with industrial companies, we can play a facilitation role.”
GFP has had a strong presence in Tanzania dating back to 2005, championing projects that have included construction of a secondary school whose vocational education programs will soon be expanded under the partner’s new “School-to-Work” initiative focused on welder training for LNG projects in Tanzania.
The year 2025 will be significant for Tanzania as it is the year that will not only see the start of construction of Lindi LNG but also the year that Tanzania becomes a transit state for crude oil passing from Uganda’s Lake Albert development – developments that will position Tanzania as a global energy hub and create demand for thousands of skilled workers for years to come.
The Lindi LNG project – on which GFP has focused its “School-to-Work” initiative – will be linked via a 100-km subsea pipeline to significant deepwater gas discoveries off Tanzania’s southern coast. Overall, Tanzania estimates its recoverable offshore reserves at more than 1,630 billion cubic meters, Africa’s sixth-largest.
International companies with equity stakes in developing those reserves include Shell, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Singapore’s Pavilion Energy (which trades LGN throughout Asia and Europe), and Jakarta-based Medco Energy – all which will have needs for local skilled labor which GFP and its “School-To-Work” program hopes to provide with the support of its global partners and donors.