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Government spends $12.9m on KNUST lab refurbishment

Date published: Tuesday, 3rd May 2016

Government has spent about 12.9 million dollars on the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) for laboratory refurbishment, training and procurement of goods and equipment.

Mr J.B. Okai, the Director of Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of Petroleum, said this during a ceremony to inaugurate the chemical and petrochemical laboratories for KNUST College of Engineering.

Mr Okai said the construction of the two laboratories formed part of the Government’s Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project (OGCBP) for some selected organisations and academic institutions in the country.

He said the main objective of the OGCBP was to improve public management and regulatory capacity, enhance transparency and strengthen local technical skills in Ghana’s oil and gas sector.

Professor Otu Ellis, the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, expressed appreciation to the Government for the continuous support in building the capacity of the university and pledged its readiness to apply strict maintenance rules to ensure that the laboratories were always in good condition.

He said the OGCBP had supported KNUST in various ways by the training of eleven university staff in postgraduate education abroad.

“This consists of seven Master of Science Degrees (MSc) and four Doctorate Degrees (PhD)”.

He said a number of short-term visits by international staff to lecture on the existing undergraduate programme had also been facilitated by the project.

He said as part of the OGCBP for KNUST, a new building housing the six thematic petroleum engineering laboratories and equipment was also commissioned in April 2015.

“Last but not least, equipment, valued at about US$2.5 million has been procured and set up in four thematic labs: Process Development Lab, the Unit Operations Lab, Biotechnology Lab and Instrumentation Lab.”

Prof. S.I.K. Ampadu, the Provost, College of Engineering, expressed his appreciation to the Government for the gesture adding that the College had become well equipped to train students in both upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry because of the OGCBP.

“Currently what remains outstanding for KNUST under the OGCBP is the completion of training of four PhD students in the Petroleum and Petrochemical Engineering Departments.”

“It is expected that two PhD holders will return to the College of Engineering later this year while the remaining two will join the faculty next year. In addition, seven laboratory staffs have been earmarked for training this year on the use of the newly installed equipment,” he said.

Other beneficiary institutions under the Oil and Gas Capacity Project since 2010 include: the Petroleum Commission, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The rest are Economic and Organised Crime Office, the Attorney General’s Department, the Regional Maritime University, the Takoradi Technical Institute, the Kikam Technical Institute, and the Ministry of Petroleum.

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