ALSF weighs in on Uganda’s oil refinery project

ALSFUganda is planning to increase its oil production for domestic growth as well as export. (Image source: dbchandler/Pixabay)With an aim to build and operate a crude oil refinery worth US$4bn, which will eventually process oil from fields, Uganda has chosen a consortium, including General Electric (GE), with Total SA and Tullow Oil Plc being responsible for the project development

The African Legal Support facility (ALSF), hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), is involved in the negotiations of the project’s framework agreement at the instance of the Ugandan authorities.

Thus, in view of the urgent need for legal counsel, the facility was approved a grant for emergency technical support on 14 June 2017, to consolidate and enhance the process.

The ALSF staff has attended the first round of negotiations between the Ugandan government and the selected consortium, which was held on 21-25 August 2017. These negotiations were aimed at producing a project framework agreement with well-elaborated timelines and apportioned responsibilities.

Coomenting on the role of ALSF, Peter Muliisa, representative of the Uganda National Oil Company, explained, “The support which the ALSF has extended to Uganda in negotiations leading to the development of a refinery has been invaluable. The legal, commercial and technical expertise provided has enriched the negotiation team and greatly enhanced the project implementation speed.”

The refinery, located in Hoima district in the Western Uagnda, is billed to double its crude processing capacity from 30,000 to 60,000 bpd. Scheduled to start operation in 2020, the plant will be supplied by fields with over 6.5 bbo. The oil refinery will be exploited by France’s Total, the UK-based Tullow and China’s Cnooc Ltd.

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