New Vision (Kampala)

14 December 2012

Uganda to Build Oil Refinery

President Yoweri Museveni has emphasized the need for Uganda to refine its oil instead of exporting it in crude form.

"There will be a refinery in Uganda.... I want my own," Museveni told Parliament Thursday.

Addressing Parliament, he said that one of the mistakes that African oil producing countries make is failure to build a refinery.

"All the associated jobs are exported to foreign countries. You also lose the byproducts," he said.

He said there was some campaign against the refinery and even he himself was suspicious, but his scientists joined him and they were able to defeat those against the refinery.

He urged the natural resources committee of Parliament to find out how many refineries there are in Africa and if they are not there, what are the reasons.

He said they had even to hire a company called Fosterwhiller which confirmed that the refinery is the way to go for Uganda.

"When it comes to a landlocked country like Uganda there are additional losses we shall suffer when you export crude," he said. "For a landlocked country to export crude, we shall lose part of the money in transit charges," he added.

Uganda, he said, would lose US$40 per barrel if it does not refine its crude oil here and instead export it to Kenya, where it would pay "obusuulu."

The President also noted that since Uganda's oil is waxy, the cost of transporting it would be high. "It is very high due to the cost of continuing to heat the pipeline all the way up to the ocean," Museveni said.

He said that in some for a Uganda is being told that it cannot afford a refinery.

Speaking about foreign funded force sabotaging Uganda's interests as far the resource is concerned, he warned that is a company is hostile to Uganda its companies would not be licensed to come into the sector.

"Do you know SINO came in? He asked. He said there was an Italian group which was about to come to Uganda called ENI, which was alleged to have bribed the Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi.

"If he ate the bribe, he ate it for nothing because we did not give them license," he said.

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