Patricia Gallego

"Transparency in development and managing performance is necessary not only to attract talent, but also to retain it."

Patricia GALLEGO Managing Director Equatorial Guinea LNG

in figures

Output from train one of EG LNG’s liquefaction facility in 20143.91 million tonnes

Number of planned LNG shipments for 201553

Train capacity

October 13, 2015

Patricia Gallego, the newly appointed managing director of Equatorial Guinea LNG (EG LNG), talks to TOGY about the role of international companies in strengthening local contractors and developing the domestic labour pool. Since its inception in 2002 and start of operations in 2007, EG LNG has been one of the flagship projects for the country’s natural gas monetisation approach.

How can international companies help the development of local LNG players?
International companies can assist local ones in several ways. One way is through international licensing, that is, granting the right to manufacture or distribute a product or service under the licenser’s trade name in Equatorial Guinea. Common examples include granting local companies the rights to technology, trademarks and patents.
Another method of fostering development is joint-venture arrangements, whereby a partnership is formed with one or more companies already established in Equatorial Guinea. Often, the local company provides expertise on the intended market, while the multinational has greater experience in areas such as general management and marketing.
Numerous studies have shown how a multicultural working environment can help improve creativity, problem solving and productivity. Operating in the global private sector requires high standards of education, experience and flexibility for employees.

 

How do oil and gas projects promote the overall development of Equatorial Guinea?
Besides being a major revenue source for the country through the sale of oil and gas, hydrocarbons companies also provide employment opportunities through the staffing of their facilities.
Equally significant are the indirect employment opportunities for the citizens of Equatorial Guinea associated with the local companies that provide services and materials to oil and gas operators. Upstream companies also have a responsibility to transfer to the national workforce the knowledge and skills needed to safely operate and maintain facilities.
International operators’ other instrumental roles include the creation of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, the cultivation of inter-businesses linkages enabling technology transfer and the building of human capital and physical infrastructure.

How important is education in developing the capabilities of local human resources?
Education is a crucial foundation for developing capability, but not all education needs to be academic. A combination of knowledge and proven retention is important, but the motivation to keep learning is essential. Interpersonal, social and communication skills that promote teamwork and achievement have become more desirable in the workplace.
Equatoguinean employees have an abundance of talent and potential. The employer’s responsibility is to provide the resources, tools and options, but employee engagement and ownership of his or her own development is critical. Otherwise, opportunities may be lost. Transparency in development and managing performance is necessary not only to attract talent, but also to retain it.

How can the training of locals improve?
This generation has instant communication at its fingertips. It is visually stimulated in education and technologically savvy. Integrating technology into teaching activities through computer simulations and online learning has huge potential. It is cost effective and user friendly while providing instant feedback.
Traditional approaches to training can be bridged with more portable and accessible formats through such devices as tablets. To maximise the learning styles of the current generation and attract the best talent, any development approach must evolve at the same pace as the available technology.
The real key to training will be to find the perfect recipe of blended learning in the workplace. We don’t want to replace the human experts and become dependent on technology.

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