Friday, May 24

Mara receives RM25 million simulation facility to train S’wakian O&G experts

Salmah cuts the ribbons to mark the official opening of the new training facility at IKM Bintulu.

Salmah cuts the ribbons to mark the official opening of the new training facility at IKM Bintulu.

BINTULU: The RM25-million oil production training facility has been handed over to Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) by TRR Heritage Sdn Bhd.

The facility here would be the place to train future technicians and technologists working in the oil and gas industry (O&G) in Sarawak, said Mara deputy director general (entrepreneurship) Datuk Salmah Hayati Ghazali.

She pointed out that the centre was built here, based on the division’s role as the centre of O&G production in the state.

“It is an investment by the federal government to train the locals (Sarawakians) in the technical sector. The facility is like the existing one on any oil rig so that the students would be able to learn in an atmosphere that is as real as it gets – perhaps they will not experience the same weather conditions like strong winds and storms, but these can be simulated,” she said during a press conference held after the official opening of the facility at Mara Skills Institute (IKM) Bintulu recently.

Adding on, Salmah said the students would need to undergo thorough mental preparation to deal with the challenging situations on a O&G platform, especially the weather.

Previously, she said they had theoretical training but limited hands-on learning as the machine available could only be handled by one person at a time.

“Now, the processes have been integrated as a single process, making learning more enjoyable than before.

“When students are given skills training in machine handling, they only know how to use the machine (as it is), but not during production or in real situations – even then, they simply could not imagine the problems; let alone, ways to solve them,” she said.

“Thus with this new training facility, I believe that the students would be exposed to new teaching and learning methods. It is a holistic system and students who come out of this centre would be more prepared to work in real situations, including how to deal with problems. This is very crucial as their work involves human lives.”

According to Salmah, the O&G processing industry is highly regulated and thus, the attitude of students who will be entering the relevant industry should be nurtured through training at certificate-level, followed by diploma and up to their graduation.

She said the plant, which was completed in four years, could be shared with other industry players and companies specialising in O&G services via joint programmes with IKM Bintulu.

“At the same time, we hope the students could continue to engage with companies – a move that would help in building up and boosting their confidence,” she added.

The new facility at IKM Bintulu is the second of its kind in the country – the other one, which is still under construction, is in Kemaman, Terengganu.

The ceremony was witnessed by Mara asset management and procurement director Suhaimi Zainuddin and Bintulu IKM director Azman Ali, as well as representatives from TRR Heritage, Solution Engineering Sdn Bhd and MH Energy Sdn Bhd.