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Six firms shortlisted for refinery

The Uganda government has shortlisted six firms, all consortia, to build the country’s $ 2.5 billion refinery in the oil-rich Hoima district.

According to a statement from the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD), seventy-five firms expressed interest in the project, but only six consortia were short-listed.

They are: a consortium led by China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau; Marubeni Corporation from Japan; a consortium led by UK-registered Petrofac; a consortium led by Russian State-owned RT-Global Resources; a consortium led by SK Energy from South Korea; and a consortium led by Swiss-based Dutch-ownedVitol.

The firms will now submit a full proposal for the financing, development and operation of the refinery and the successful bidder will be announced by mid next year.

New licensing awaits petroleum regulations

Meanwhile, companies planning to acquire exploration licenses in Uganda’s oil rich Albertine Region will have to wait a little longer, as government puts in place the necessary regulations to operationalise some elements of the recently passed petroleum laws.

Speaking at an Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) conference last week, the Commissioner of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD), Ernest Rubondo, said absence of the accompanying regulations to the petroleum laws was keeping government from issuing fresh licenses.

“Even though close to 100 oil companies including the biggest companies in the world have applied for acreage in the Albertine area, we shall not award any licence until effective regulations are put in place,” he said.

Licensing was halted in 2007, yet sixty percent of the Albertine Region remains unlicensed.

Petroleum lawyer Sim Katende explained to Oil in Uganda that the regulations will provide more details on how to implement specific provisions relating to particular sections in the Petroleum Acts.

“Usually, in a primary law, you cannot include every single detail because it will be too bulky,” he said, adding that the regulations will deal with specifics.

According to PEPD’s Gloria Sebikari, these regulations will be ready around mid-next year.

The one day conference was organised in partnership with the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) and its main focus of discussion was on how oil resources can be used to accelerate growth and maintain intergenerational equity.

Report by Musiime Chris and Beatrice Ongode