Uganda in talks with UAE investment firm over planned oil refinery
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Uganda in talks with UAE investment firm over planned oil refinery

Uganda in talks with UAE investment firm over planned oil refinery

Negotiations on the key commercial details between Uganda and UAE-based Alpha MBM Investments are expected to be completed within three months

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Uganda oil pipeline

Uganda is negotiating with an investment company led by a member of Dubai’s royal family to develop a planned $4bn refinery for some of its crude oil, its energy minister said on Tuesday.

Uganda in July last year terminated negotiations with a consortium that included a unit of US firm Baker Hughes over its failure to mobilise financing in time.

Uganda is counting on the 60,000 barrel-per-day refinery for its nascent hydrocarbons industry.

“Expressions of interest were received from several potential investors and they were evaluated … following which a memorandum of understanding was signed on the 22 of December 2023,” Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa said at a news conference.

Negotiations on the key commercial details between the government and UAE-based Alpha MBM Investments started on January 16 and are expected to be completed within three months, she added.

Uganda’s 2025 outlook

Uganda expects to start pumping crude commercially in 2025 from fields in the Albertine rift basin in the country’s west near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The fields are jointly operated by the Ugandan government via the state-run Uganda National Oil Company, China’s CNOOC and France’s TotalEnergies.

President Yoweri Museveni’s government wants to process some of its crude domestically to boost employment and benefit from technology transfer.

Nankabirwa also said Uganda had on Tuesday issued a licence to CNOOC to produce Liquefied Petroleum Gas at a plant to be constructed in the Kingfisher development area that CNOOC operates.

Kingfisher is one of Uganda’s two commercial oil development fields. The second, Tilenga, is operated by TotalEnergies.

The minister did not say how much gas CNOOC would produce annually. Uganda’s gas reserves are estimated at 500 billion cubic feet.

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