Cabinet has approved the Biofuels Bill 2015 which is expected to facilitate the blending of petroleum products with biofuels to improve Uganda''s energy security.
By Pascal Kwesiga
Cabinet has approved the Biofuels Bill 2015 which is expected to facilitate the blending of petroleum products with biofuels to improve Uganda's energy security.
The Bill also seeks to promote investment in the renewable energy generation and increase the life of the country's s fossil fuel (petroleum products) reserves.
According to the Information and National Guidance Minister, Jim Muhwezi, Cabinet has also authorized the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development to get the Bill gazetted, debated and enacted by Parliament.
The Bill follows the 2007 Renewable Energy policy, which provides for the blending of biofuels and fossil fuels.
The legal framework being developed by Government will provide for compulsory blending of biofuels and fossil fuels by the industry players.
Muhwezi told a news conference in Kampala on Thursday that investors in the field of biofuels require a secure market which has to be developed through legislation. This, according to Government, will also promote investment in biofuels production.
Mixing biofuels and fossil fuel, according to energy experts, will increase the life of Uganda's oil reserves through partial substitution when production begins in about three years' time.
"Legislation will enable developers to access long term finance which is required in the biofuels industry. It will also create incentives like tax rebates which encourage investors to develop biofuels," Muhwezi said.
Production of biofuels, according to Government, will enhance 'rural earnings' as well as powering the agro-processing units which will create employment opportunities and promote value addition.
Biofuels production and usage is also expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing 'cleaner and environmentally friendly' fuel for domestic, transport and industrial purposes.
Cabinet has also approved the Financial Institutions Amendment Bill 2015. The current Financial Institutions Act 2004, according to Government, has been found to have barriers to new products development and innovations which are less costly and more consumer driven.
The amendments, for instance, the proposal to use banks to sell insurance and use of agents, will bring financial services nearer to the people.
Cabinet approves the Biofuels Bill