Stanbic Bank Uganda, in partnership with the Energy Industries Council EIC, and the British High Commission on Tuesday hosted a high-powered trade delegation from the UK.
The delegation was in the country to introduce British oil and gas goods and services providers to Uganda and also facilitate joint venture partnerships and strategic alliances with Ugandan businesses.
The delegation, a first by a UK trade envoy to Uganda, was led by Lord Dolar Popat who is the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Uganda and Rwanda.
Delivering opening remarks at a breakfast forum held to commemorate the visit, Stanbic Bank chief executive Patrick Mweheire said “British companies are well positioned to be valuable participants in the development of Uganda’s hydrocarbon sector” given that the UK is key trading partner, the two country’s long shared relations, and London’s position as one of the world’s premier financial capitals.
“As a bank we firmly believe the oil and gas sector is one of the catalysts that will proactively lead Uganda’s economic transformation given the multiple subsectors it touches,” Mr Mweheire said. “This will only happen however if local companies are given the opportunity to participate as active partners in its planning, execution and development.”
It is estimated that over $15bn will be spent in the development of Uganda’s oil and gas sector, which is expected to peak in 2030 with 300,000 being produced on a daily basis. About 80% of the budget has been earmarked for the development of related infrastructure, including an oil refinery and a pipeline to the Tanzanian coast.
Stanbic Bank Uganda, alongside Japan’s Sumitomi Mitsui of Japan, were appointed as joint financial advisers for the oil pipeline, which will connect Uganda’s oilfields in the west of the country to Tanga port in Tanzania. Stanbic plans to raise $3 billion for the project in the second half of 2018 as Uganda prepares to start oil production by 2020.
Lord Popat, who was born in Busolwe, eastern Uganda but left the country at a young age, said he was “delighted to be leading the EIC delegation to Uganda.”
“Britain’s oil and gas industry has tremendous expertise and Uganda’s growing energy market – with the planned refinery, pipeline and field development project is a perfect place to seek opportunities,” Lord Popat said.
The trade forum was held under the theme “Unlocking opportunities in the oil & gas supply chain”. Participants in the panel discussion moderated by Mr Mweheire included Ernest Rubondo, the executive director of the Uganda Petroleum Authority, Elly Karuhanga, the chairman of the Uganda Chamber of Mines, Jimmy Mugerwa, the general manager of Tullow Uganda, and Phil Haymes – DIT UK Oil and Gas Specialist.