Reaching for the stars

Pendare Field: Reaching for the stars

The donation of a training tower for workers to learn about safe work at height and in confined spaces is making a major impact on the community of Puerto Gaitan. Thanks to a significant contribution from Tecpetrol, the training tower is providing free courses to certify people learning all-important skills and safety procedures, to help them integrate into the regional economy.

Handling tools, driving machines, and even painting industrial facilities working on scaffolds, towers or platforms are all skills that require the right kind of training. Additionally, when it comes to safety, work at height requires special certification. Hence the satisfaction felt by the community living in Puerto Gaitan, Colombia, following the recent inauguration of the first safe work tower for training people to work at heights and in confined spaces, donated by Tecpetrol to the National Learning Service (SENA). Members of the local community will be able to take free courses to train and earn qualifications enabling them to apply for jobs in the hydrocarbons, construction, electricity, telecommunications, and agribusiness sectors.

Beyond the physical skills involved, the new training tower offers enormous potential for the development not only of the local community but others in the neighboring region that lack this type of sophisticated training facilities. "This project shows the degree of articulation and synergy that can be achieved between the industry, the Puerto Gaitan municipality and SENA in solving specific issues arising on our growth path to provide Colombia with more energy," explains José Feretti, the manager of Tecpetrol Colombia, who also referred to the expansion project underway at the Pendare field, aimed at increasing the m3/day oil output levels.

Thanks to Tecpetrol’s Technical Gene Program, and in agreement with the Puerto Gaitan Mayor's Office and CEPSA setting up the Cara Cara Association, a further 32,421,09 Colombian pesos are being donated to the project to support technical education, aimed at closing the gap between basic formal training and the current needs of regional economies. Building the tower was the last chapter in a complex story first started by a group of scaffolders, who’d shared their concerns about how to get the right training and be certified in these skills in the region.

"This articulation between public and private sector institutions has helped SENA to achieve its institutional goals in the country, basically about training and supporting Colombian enterprise at a grassroots level. We are working in synergy with Tecpetrol as corporate social responsibility dovetails with the social work undertaken by SENA," said Marco Andrés Vargas, deputy director of the Industry and Services Center. He spoke at the opening ceremony "to the rhythm of the joropo, harp and maracas," because, as he assured, "that is the sense of belonging we must foster with this company."

The agreement envisages SENA managing the project, sourcing instructors, and making sure that all the people who need certification can access the training courses for free. The project has also received a donation of property by the municipality to build the tower, and the local authorities have been instrumental in articulating the process required to give it all the green light.

Tecpetrol has always pursued a strong commitment to its neighboring communities from its origins, a philosophy that it puts into practice in all the countries where it operates. The company seeks to contribute to specific needs, partnering with local institutions to promote community development. “Staffing and training, as well as community relations, are key to everything we do,” Feretti explained. "We are proud to be able to boost growth in Colombia by helping to provide the resources it needs," he concluded.

Experience at Fortín de Piedra

Energy connects us