By Spy Uganda
Uganda has called for new funding for its 60,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) oil refinery project after a financing deal with a multinational consortium fell through.
In a statement on Monday, the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Minerals said that while key progress had been made on several areas regarding the project, there are “a number of outstanding aspects” that required attention. Chief among these is the “mobilisation of financing for the project”. The greenfield refinery and accompanying pipeline are expected to cost as much as $4.5bn.
The ministry stated: “The Government of Uganda is now open to receiving offers from public sector capital providers to participate in this nationally and regionally strategic project.”
The Albertine Graben Energy Consortium (AGEC), investors of which include General Electric subsidiary Nuovo Pignone of Italy, signed a framework agreement for the project with the Ugandan Government in 2018. However, upon the final investment decision deadline last week, the necessary funding for the project had not yet been secured.
Ministry spokesperson Solomon Muyita said that the ministry is cognisant of the project’s progress goals. “We expected (the final investment decision) by end of June, which did not happen. That greatly hampers the timelines,” Muyita explained.
Muyita continued: “So far they have not confirmed that they have financing. So, for the consortium, when they get financing, they can still get back to us, but in the meantime, we are open to any other developer.”
Expected to begin operations in 2027, the refinery would cover more than double Uganda’s 27,000 bpd daily usage. It was reported in January that works would begin at the project this year. The refinery, located in Uganda’s western region of Kibaale, was being developed as a joint venture between the Ugandan Government and AGEC.