The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Uganda selects Dar port for oil imports


UGANDA and Vitol Bahrain have chosen the Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania as its entry point for its oil imports.

This was done to foster the relationsh­ip between both East African countries. The move follows Vitol Bahrain’s procuremen­t of a contract from Uganda National Oil Business (UNOC), that allows it to supply Uganda’s oil.

The move also precedes Uganda’s decision to end its dependence on Kenya for its oil imports. A few weeks ago, a bill allowing Uganda National Oil Business (Unoc), a state-owned oil company, to purchase and deliver oil to the country’s internal market was approved by the Ugandan cabinet.

The purpose of the bill is to abolish the current process of importing oil via Kenyan distributo­rs.

Regarding a hidden agreement Kenya made with the UEA and Saudi Arabia, Ugandan authoritie­s and oil merchants voiced their dissatisfa­ction with Kenya. The Ugandan officials pointed out that the agreement would expose neighbouri­ng nations to high pump costs.

This informatio­n originated from details received from meeting minutes obtained by the Kenyan news website Business Daily.

This schism has the potential to affect dollar exchange rates between the two countries at a time when the government sorely needs the greenback to pay for petroleum imports.

All petroleum products are imported and used for trade in Uganda. Dr Nankabirwa claims that the port of Mombasa in Kenya gets around 90 percent of these goods, with the remaining 10 percent arriving via the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

Vitol Bahrain has now promised to fund a collaborat­ive project at Namwambula Mpili with UNOC to expand the facility’s capacity and add 320 million litres of storage capacity. Vitol Bahrain, an independen­t worldwide firm with a significan­t presence in the East African nation, is characteri­sed by Dr Nankabirwa as a strategic partner with a projected turnover of US$505 billion in 2022. —

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