UK Export Finance to provide $350m credit for oil airport

The United Kingdom’s government’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), and Standard Chartered Bank are expected to extend a credit line of up to $350m (Shs1,300bn) to Uganda for construction of the proposed Kabaale International Airport in the Albertine Graben.

A cabinet sitting two weeks ago approved the loan request by the ministry of finance to borrow money to construct the airport. The project was conceived to ease transport to the region to facilitate activities for commercial oil production, expected to start in late 2020 according to government projections.

Senior officials in the ministries of works and energy say that the detailed master plan and engineering designs for the first phase of the airport are already complete.

The energy ministry will “collaborate with Ministry of Works and Transport and Civil Aviation Authority to ensure the airport is ready by the target dates,” Irene Muloni, the energy minister, told this website.

The first phase of the airport is expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2019.

The Kibaale International airport will be situated adjacent to the site of the proposed oil refinery, for which the government acquired 29 square kilometres of land across 13 villages in Hoima in 2011.

In May, the government formalized plans with Colas Ltd, the UK subsidiary of French civil engineering firm, Colas Group, and local construction company SBI to undertake construction of the airport.

Read More: Government banks on SBI-Colas joint venture to construct Hoima airport

The British government said, in March, that it plans to increase export credit for Uganda from £300m to £600m through UKEF.

The British prime minister’s trade envoy to Uganda, Lord Dolar Popat, revealed at the time that infrastructure development is one the areas that UK companies were targeting.