Uganda’s fuel imports as of mid-September were 85m litres, with demand growing at 7% per annum, the energy ministry has said.
While briefing parliament on Tuesday, energy minister Irene Muloni said the 85m litres comprised of 34.6m litres of petrol, 42.5m litres of diesel, and 2.6m litres of kerosene. Jet fuel imports stood at 5m litres.
The majority of the petroleum products, 92%, were imported through Mombasa port in Kenya, while only 8% arrived via Dar es Salaam on the Tanzanian coast.
The average daily consumption of all fuel products is 5.4m litres, according to the ministry. Ms Muloni said prices have been relatively stable over the last months, but could go up.
Total petroleum imports rose by 9.7% in 2014 compared to 2013. Kerosene declined by 8.4%, while petrol and diesel imports increased by 13.4% and 8.2% respectively. (The energy ministry is yet to release fuel import figures for 2015.) Overall, petroleum imports have risen by 48.7% since 2007.
“The strategies to keep the country well-supplied hinge on the effectiveness of the import routes and the in-country storage facilities,” Ms Muloni said. “In this case, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam ports together with other terminals in Kenya are all being utilised by oil marketing companies to import products into Uganda.”
At least 43 firms have active licences to import petroleum products into the country.
“As for stocks, the country has a combined total cover of 14 days supply. Of these, twelve days are provided by the private oil marketing companies and two days by government storage facilities at Jinja,” the minister noted.
Earlier statistics from Bank of Uganda showed that the sustained plummeting of oil prices on the international market had contributed to the decline in Uganda’s import bill by 21.4% in 2016. The import bill stood at $132m, or Shs445.2bn, last year.
The government has remained committed to its plan of constructing a local refinery to neutralise the effects of the fuel import bill, while at the same time tapping regional export markets.
The planned refinery will produce liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), diesel, petrol, kerosene, jet fuel and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO)
A feasibility study by the British consultancy Foster Wheeler said the refinery was commercially viable with a net present value of $3.2bn at a 10% discount rate and an internal rate of return of 33%.