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Government to stock fuel reserves

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th April 2010 03:00 AM

THE Government plans to cushion the country against erratic fuel shortages by renovating old reserves, constructing and stocking new ones.

THE Government plans to cushion the country against erratic fuel shortages by renovating old reserves, constructing and stocking new ones.

By Ben Okiror

THE Government plans to cushion the country against erratic fuel shortages by renovating old reserves, constructing and stocking new ones.

As part of the recently launched five-year National Development Plan, the oil and gas sub-sector has been identified as one of the priority areas under infrastructure development for the transformation of the economy.

According to the plan, the nation currently meets all its petroleum needs, with imports standing at 847,603 cubic metres and estimated at $320m (sh665b) per annum.

However, the country recently experienced a fuel shortage leading to a price hike. Experts attributed this shortage to abandonment of the oil reserves in Jinja, built in the 1970s with a capacity of 20 million litres of diesel and 10 million litres of petrol.

Nevertheless, the plan seeks to restock strategic reserves to ensure sufficient stock of petroleum products all the time. Some of the interventions include; restocking the Jinja reserve, completing the construction of the Nakasongola and Gulu reserves and thereafter restocking them.

Although Uganda’s estimated petroleum capacity is currently estimated at two billion barrels within the Albertine region (Arua to Kanungu), it is expected to increase since exploration is on-going.

In 2007, when Uganda suffered a severe fuel crisis due the post-election violence in Kenya, there was a public outcry and the Parliament ordered the energy ministry to repossess the reserves and restock them.

The cost at the time was estimated at sh31b. This is because fuel companies in Uganda usually stock enough fuel for only 10 days and if the situation persists, the country would face a crisis.

Reports indicate that the 1974 oil embargo imposed on Uganda during President Idi Amin’s era forced him to hatch plans of setting up reserves in Jinja, Kasese, Nakasongola and Gulu districts.

Government to stock fuel reserves

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