Muloni: Oil refinery could be delayed till 2022 but production date unchanged
The front-end engineering design, or FEED, for Uganda’s planned petroleum refinery, initially due for completion last year, has only just begun, Energy Minister Irene Muloni said Wednesday. The delay in starting up — now expected in 2022 — will set back Uganda’s plans to reduce fuel imports and start exporting to neighbouring countries.
“FEED is just beginning and it will impact the completion of the refinery,” Ms Muloni said in Kampala. “For the refinery there is definitely a slippage.”
A group led by General Electric is contracted to build the 60,000 barrel-a-day plant in the Hoima district of western Uganda. It will take oil from fields being developed by Total SA, CNOOC Ltd and Tullow Oil Plc — due to start flowing in 2020. Plans have also been submitted for a crude-export pipeline via Tanzania, which will be completed before the refinery, Ms Muloni said.
Other partners in the Geled group are Yaatra Ventures LLC, Italy’s Saipem SPA and Kenya-based Fireworks Capital. Uganda has said Total will also invest, as will the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments.
Muloni insisted Uganda is still targeting the start of oil production in 2020, even though CNOOC has suggested output may begin a year later because of delays to final investment decisions.
The delay will set back Uganda’s plans to reduce fuel imports.