By Mary Karugaba
Six shortlisted oil firms for Uganda’s refinery project have arrived in the country to inspect the oil wells. They are China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau from China, Petrofac from UAE, RT-Global Resources from Russia, Vitol SA from Switzerland, SK Energy from S.Korea and Marubeni Corporation from Japan.
According to the programme, the bidders will visit the oil fields in the Albertine Graben and the area where the refinery is going to be developed at Kabaale Parish, Buseruka Sub County in Hoima District.
They will also hold a meeting with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), TOTAL and TULLOW the companies licensed to undertake petroleum exploration, development and production of the oil and gas resources in the country.
The six firms were shortlisted in January2014 and the winner for the development of the 60,000 barrels per day (BPD) oil refinery and related downstream infrastructure is expected to be announced in June 2014 by the Ministry of Energy.
Meeting the firms on Wednesday at Kampala Serena Hotel, Eng. Irene Muloni, Minister of Energy & Mineral Development (MEMD), said: 'We invited the bidders for this conference to share with them information on the developments in Uganda’s oil and gas sector, and more specifically to introduce the refinery project.”
We have discussed the proposed project structure, base case configuration and addressable market for the refinery, the relevant agreements, and the scoring criteria for both technical and financial proposals.
The Government is committed to keeping the bidding process transparent and therefore my Ministry thought it was prudent to meet all the bidders together in order to address any questions and allow for a healthy and transparent process,”Eng. Muloni added.
The meeting was supported by the transaction advisor of the project, Taylor DeJough and Government’s advisory team.
Following the meeting, the bidders are required to present their detailed proposals for Uganda’s Refinery Project to Government by April 16, 2014.
These proposals will include a project implementation plan that highlights a plan for management of logistics associated with the project given its remote location, project risks and mitigations, together with Security, Safety, Health and Environmental (SSHE) strategy and principles.
The project implementation plan must, among other things, also include a local content strategy that illustrates how the bidders intend to maximize use of Ugandan employees and resources.
“The proposals will include a detailed technical concept highlighting the refinery design the bidders intend to implement, taking into consideration the petroleum products market and fuel specifications in Uganda and the East African region.
The shortlisted bidders will, in addition, submit a financial plan highlighting how they intend to raise funds for the project.
They are also expected to document their plan for crude oil procurement together with their plans for sale, and marketing of refined products”, Mr. Robert Kasande, the Refinery Project Manager in MEMD added.
Uganda’s refinery project is to be developed under a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement with the Government holding 40% equity. “We are in the process of acquiring the 29 Square kilometres of land through implementation of a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) and a number of people have so far been compensated.
The RAP takes into consideration the existing laws and international best practices”, Kasande said