Uganda advances plans for first refinery

Uganda’s government has received proposals from four international companies bidding to build and construct the country’s first refinery and related infrastructure in the Lake Albert region of Buseruka Subcounty, Hoima District, Uganda (OGJ Online, Dec. 2, 2013; Feb. 2, 2010).

An evaluation team comprised of government representatives as well as US-based Taylor DeJongh, transaction advisor for the project, will undertake a detailed, month-long evaluation of the proposals starting this month, after which the winning bidder will be announced, said Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD).

Negotiations are expected to be concluded by this year’s fourth quarter, MEMD said.

The proposed 60,000-b/d refinery, which will be developed in two, 30,000-b/d phases, will include on-site crude oil and product storage as well as a 205-km product pipeline to a distribution terminal near Kampala, according to an October 2013 presentation from MEMD.

The Ugandan government will hold 40% equity in the project, while the winning bidder, as lead investor and operator, will hold the remaining 60%.

The refinery will be designed to process Uganda’s waxy crude oil (23-33° API, 0.16 wt% sulfur) produced from the Albertine basin to serve petroleum product markets in Uganda, Congo (former Zaire), South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and Tanzania, MEMD said.

Companies submitting proposals include three consortia led by the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau, South Korea’s SK Group, and Russia’s RT Global Resources, respectively, as well Japan’s Marubeni Corp.

With financial close on the project scheduled for second-half 2015, the first phase of the refinery is slated to be commissioned sometime in 2017-18, MEMD said in October 2013.

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