THE AUSTRALIAN Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) at Western Australia’s Challenger Institute of Technology will build a specialist engineering training centre following a $15 million funding commitment from the Western Australian Government.

The facility will be used to train electrical and instrumentation control engineers and engineering technicians, focusing on developing the high level technical skills required for the operation and maintenance of LNG plants.

ACEPT director Greg Guppy said the engineering centre, to be located at the ACEPT campus in Henderson south of Perth, will offer an applied LNG learning environment incorporating hands-on practical experience at ACEPT’s closed loop processing plant.

It will also build on ACEPT’s training strategies to provide foundation skills for new entrants to the oil and gas industry, up-skill existing workers and deliver gap training for tradespeople, as well as target programs for under-represented groups.

Challenger Institute chief executive officer Liz Harris said the new centre would double ACEPT’s annual training capacity to 1,800 students.

“With several new LNG projects entering the operational phase over the next few years, demand for highly skilled operators to operate and maintain plants safely and efficiently will increase dramatically,” Ms Harris said.

ACEPT’s Industry Advisory Board chair Keith Spence said the Centre’s hands-on learning environment was valuable and unique among oil and gas training providers.

“The new engineering centre will significantly build on ACEPT’s ability to provide comprehensive workforce development services and, more generally, to ensure a skilled and industry-trained workforce,” he said.