New Fortress Energy welcomes 18 engineering interns

NATURAL gas provider New Fortress Energy (NFE) recently welcomed its very first set of engineering interns at its liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities across the island, as part of its commitment to the development of youth and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in Jamaica.

NFE’s Tertiary Engineering Internship Programme, which is opened to students enrolled in the Cryogenics Engineering elective at The University of the West Indies (UWI) as part of their engineering degree, as well as engineering students at the University of Technology (UTech), Jamaica and Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), is aimed at assisting tertiary students gain meaningful and practical experience in the LNG field to become more competitive and more marketable as they transition into the workforce, a release said.

“We’re delighted to welcome our first-ever batch of interns, giving them real-life on-the-job exposure into the exciting world of LNG, the energy of the future,” said Verona Carter, VP at New Fortress Energy. “As Jamaica continues to progress towards fulfilling its vision 2030 energy goal of diversifying its energy supply, NFE remains committed to playing our part in the sustainable growth and development of the sector by investing in these brilliant young minds who will be tomorrow’s engineers, leaders and innovators.”

This year, 18 aspiring engineers from UWI, UTech and CMU have been accepted to intern at one of NFE’s three LNG facilities — its combined heat and power plant (CHP) in Clarendon, the Old Harbour Power Plant and the Montego Bay LNG Plant in Freeport. The first batch of nine students, who started on June 1, have high praises so far.

Giovanni Buckle, final-year electrical power engineering student at The UWI stationed in Old Harbour, said: “This internship has opened my eyes to how amazing working in the LNG industry can be. I have not had a dull moment since we started, from working with the CRO on-site to working on boat engines as well as travelling to the offshore terminal at NFE’s floating storage regasification unit, which in and of itself is amazing. The team has made this experience extraordinary and has shown genuine interest in our development. They’ve essentially been mentoring us and have made me eager to want to work with them in the future.”

Toni-Ann Gray, a second-year electrical and computer engineering student at UTech, Jamaica echoed his sentiments.

“I’ve been having an amazing time so far at the Montego Bay Terminal. I’ve been working with the operators in the control room, out in the field at the loading bay where trucks are loaded with LNG, and on the jetty where the ship offloads the fuel. What’s also great is that I get to learn a lot about thermodynamics, LNG regasification process, and the various software that are used daily in operating and maintaining the plant. I am forever grateful for this opportunity to be among the first set of students to intern with NFE,” she said.

According to another intern, third-year industrial engineering student at CMU O’Brian Simpson, learning the theory at school is good, but seeing it first-hand is a “whole different thing”.

“The CHP power plant is unique because most areas are fully automated, and it’s just impressive to see how the plant is integrated with Jamalco’s system. LNG is a very new and exciting industry in Jamaica and I’m really happy to be able to be interning with the company that has brought this fuel source to Jamaica,” Simpson said.

Since its inception in Jamaica, NFE has invested heavily in STEM education, including tertiary scholarships and bursaries for hundreds of students, established a cryogenics engineering course for first-degree engineering students at The UWI, and has sponsored several STEM educational programmes, including the Mathematics Olympiad hosted by the Department of Mathematics at The UWI, the release said.

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