Ramathan Ggoobi praises progress on Albertine projects

Issued by: Petroleum Authority of Uganda

The permanent secretary of the ministry of finance and secretary to the treasury said work on vital infrastructure in the Albertine Graben region is proceeding systematically.

Ramathan Ggoobi, who was on a tour of oil and gas projects in the Albertine region, said the government has addressed the issue of inadequate infrastructure, which was one of the key challenges to commercialising Uganda’s petroleum reserves.

“We have constructed over 70 per cent of the critical roads, while work on phase one of Uganda’s second international airport in Hoima is expected to be completed by February 2023,” Mr Ggoobi said. He also noted that the Uganda Petroleum Institute at Kigumba is training technicians to the required international sector standards.

“These deliberate efforts undertaken by the government, in terms of capacity building, and setting up regulatory and institutional frameworks for the sector have convinced me that that Uganda has already escaped the oil curse,” he added.

The executive director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, Ernest Rubondo, said the oil and gas projects are creating positive linkages with other sectors, and will facilitate economic growth.

“If these oil roads had not been constructed, movement of equipment needed for production would have been a challenge. It should also be noted that these roads are benefiting other sectors of the economy like agriculture, transport, and tourism,” said Mr. Rubondo.

The petroleum authority is supporting two studies that seek to identify business opportunities in agriculture and housing linked to oil and gas, and assess enterprises with the potential to absorb the opportunities.

Mr Ggoobi said the finance ministry would find ways to build on the training offered by the Stanbic Business Incubator in Hoima during the implementation of the recently launched Parish Development Model.

“What the incubator is doing in Hoima is impressive, and we shall ensure that the communities in these areas are prioritised during implementation of the PDM to consolidate these efforts,” he said.

In a related development, the government projects that the oil and gas industrial park, when operational, could earn as much as $8bn annually, which is about 7 per cent of Uganda’s current GDP. The observation was made by Michael Nkambo Mugerwa, general manager of the Uganda Refinery Holding Company Ltd, a subsidiary of Uganda National Oil Company.

Mr Mugerwa compared Uganda’s planned industrial park to that of Singapore, noting that they are of almost similar size and Singapore’s park creates 10 per cent of its GDP.

The three-day visit started with a tour of the Uganda Petroleum Institute at Kigumba on 8 April, the Tilenga project in Nwoya and Buliisa districts on 9 April, and the Kingfisher development project and Kabaale Industrial Area on 10 April.

The oil and gas sector has since an increase in activity following the final investment decision by the joint venture partners — TotalEnergies, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, and the Uganda National Oil Company.

Progress report on the Albertine projects

Tilenga Project

The completion rate of the site preparation works on the Tilenga Industrial Area is currently 60 per cent. The Industrial Area will host the main Tilenga surface facilities which include the central processing facility, construction support base, drilling support base, construction camp, and the operators support base.

MotaEngil was contracted by TotalEnergies E&P Uganda to prepare the site. The scope of work includes bush clearing, levelling, compaction, drainage, fencing among others.

To meet national content requirements, MotaEngil has employed over 300 Ugandans, compared with 24 non-Ugandans, and is working with different Ugandan sub-contractors including Prand Engineering Ltd, Civtec, Pearl Engineering, among others

Kingfisher Development Project

Construction work on the Kingfisher project has started following the award of a procurement contract to Excel Construction Ltd, a Ugandan company. Civil works on the Kingfisher well pads 1,2, and 3, in preparation for drilling, are expected to start in December. Excel Construction’s activities include levelling the site, compacting, setting up a drainage system, fencing the site, and constructing infield access roads.

Eighty-six 24-inch conductor pipes were delivered to the well pads in March. The pipes must be welded together before they are run into the ground – this was done by locally-trained welders. Preparation works on the site are at 10.1 per cent, against a planned completion rate of 10.3 per cent.