By Robert Atuhairwe
The demarcation of the proposed land for the establishment of an oil refinery at Kabaale in Buseruka sub-county Hoima district is set to start within two weeks.
The revelation was made by Robert Kasende, an assistant commissioner in the ministry of energy and mineral development.
Addressing local leaders in the area on Saturday at Kabaale Primary School, Kasende said the feasibility study conducted in 2010 by Foster Wheeler, a United Kingdom firm assessed the size and configuration of the refinery at 29 square kilometers.
He said the land will be used to also set up other oil refinery-related infrastructure including waste management facilities, staff quarters for the refinery workers, a modern airport and petrol chemical industries, among others.
He explained that the boundary survey will be carried out by experts from the department of surveying and mapping in the ministry of lands at Entebbe and later hire a consultant for the resettlement action plan.
The refinery will cover nine villages of Nyahaira, Kyapoloni, Nyamasoga, Kabaale 2, Kabakete, Kiteegwa, Katooke, Kigaaga and Nyansenene.
The refinery, whose construction will begin this year and is expected to be complete in four years, is to process crude oil for export and local consumption.
The aim of the meeting was to sensitize community leaders on how they can use their clout to disseminate positive information about the project on land-related matters that also includes compensation of those people settling on the refinery land so as to avoid negative energy in the process.
He assured the over 100 leaders who included LCI and sub-county chairpersons, councilors, parish and sub-county chiefs that, compensation will be by mutual understanding depending on the value of the properties on land.
The leaders were also briefed about the new developments, achievements and challenges facing the nascent sector, history of petroleum exploration in Uganda and the national oil and gas policy.
Kasende outlined among the challenges as; high anxiety and expectations from the public that needs to be addressed early, slow prioritization of the oil and gas aspects by other sectors and the lack of capacity building so as to ably profit from the sector.
Naomi Kabarungi, an official from the energy ministry said the refinery project will come with many benefits more especially to the neighboring community in terms of employment opportunities and infrastructure development, adding that, it was paramount for the leaders to share positive information regarding the project since they are also important stakeholders.
“As local leaders, you have many roles to play like working as agents of social -economic change in your respective areas of jurisdiction, so you should take initiatives and be a ray of hope by distributing positive information on how people can benefit from the project,” she said.
Kabarungi urged the local leaders to practice proactive communication to avoid crisis situations in future.
Jean Kaliba, the district resident commissioner warned leaders against entertaining people who incite the public that oil would be a curse.
She observed that the government was very keen at ensuring that the resource benefits all Ugandans and that issues to do with oil impact on the environment, oil revenue sharing and compensation would be seriously addressed.
Fill in your Name and Email Address to receive a Free Newsletter
Oil refinery land set for demarcation