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Uganda Refinery Holding Company looking for top boss

By John Odyek

Added 25th October 2016 09:31 PM

Uganda's petroleum refinery project estimated to cost over $3b (sh10trilion)

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Uganda's petroleum refinery project estimated to cost over $3b (sh10trilion)

Uganda Refinery Holding Company is seeking to recruit a general manager. It is one of the new companies that government set up as Uganda prepares to produce its first oil barrel in 2020.

The company is private limited liability company that was incorporated under the Company Act, is a subsidiary of the Uganda National Oil Company.

Corti Paul Lakuma, research analyst at Economic Policy Research Centre, Makerere said the investments in oil infrastructure wells, processing facilities and pipelines worth over $8b will have a positive impact on the oil and the non-oil production sector.

Lakuna said the sector is also expected to begin hiring employees averting the cutback and layoff witnessed in the sector in 2014.

"The refinery is expected to cushion against the impact of fluctuation in global oil prices," he said.

"Although the first barrel of oil is expected to flow in 2020, there are questions about the readiness of some infrastructure (roads, pipeline, and airstrips) pursuant to the short timeline. The readiness of the economy to absorb the huge investment and Uganda's businesses to participate in the sector is also wanting," he added.

Uganda's petroleum refinery project estimated to cost over $3b (sh10trilion) will be one of Uganda's huge investments. The project will contribute to economic gains for Ugandans as the construction of the refinery alone is estimated to create 4,000 to 6,000 temporary jobs. On completion, ongoing refinery operations are expected to create over 650 permanent jobs.

An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial processing plant where crude oil is processed and refined into more useful products such as petrol, diesel, petroleum naphtha (paint thinner), asphalt base, heating oil, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas.

Emmanuel Katongole is chairperson of Uganda National Oil Company and Dr. Josephine Wapakabulo is the company's chief executive officer.

The general manager will be in charge of the overall administration of the company, provide strategic leadership, vision and will be the accounting officer of the company and see that oil becomes a blessing to Uganda. The ideal candidate is required to have a master's degree in chemical, process engineering or refinery systems engineering with 10 years’ experience.

The candidate is required to possess a bachelor's degree in engineering or industrial chemistry and holding a Master's in Business Administration provides an added advantage.

Lakuma said the ability of the government to create a petro-chemical industry beyond exploration, production, pipelines and refinery remains to be tested. He noted that oil production and processing activities are high end activities with constrained impact on employment creation.

"Therefore, a petrochemical industry will see Uganda produce many hydrocarbon products such as fertilizer, mattresses, plastics and beauty products (lotions and jelly) amongst others. These activities have a more distributive economy wide impact," he said.

"Nevertheless, the impact of oil revenue cannot be underestimated given the infrastructural deficits and service delivery needs experienced by Uganda. An injection of $2b (10 percent of current GDP) per year (starting 2020) in oil revenues sets Uganda on a path to achieve an upper middle income status by 2040," he said.

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