Eve Mbasabye

Eve Mbasabye

Venture Oil Companies To Launch FEED Studies

Joint venture companies Total, CNOOC and Tullow will be launching the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) studies for the Buliisa Upstream projecton Tuesday February 14th, 2016.

In a brief statement, the JV partners said that during FEED, all necessary technical definition, cost and schedule estimates will be developed to allow the Joint Venture Partners to make a recommendation for a Final Investment Decision (FID).

This, they said, will lead to the project execution and construction phase for the upstream facilities, required to produce Uganda’s Oil targeted for end 2020.

Sudhir, Parents Agree On Future Of Kampala Parents School

In an assessment meeting with parents of Kampala Parents School, a primary school based in Naguru, renowned businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, the owner of the school, said the school is focused on maintaining and improving on its performance and is not being swayed by malicious rumors on social media platforms that the school is going to close.

Unverified news on different social media suggested that Sudhir Ruparelia, whose bank, Crane Bank, was sold to dfcu after Bank of Uganda took it over last year, was selling the school due to financial hardships. The businessman in the same meeting told parents that “social media doesn’t run the school” and asked them to only trust “formal memos” from school management.

The businessman who owns Kampala Parents School, Delhi International Public School, Kampala International School and Victoria University Kampala explained that the primary school is managed independently and is in sound health. He asked parents to stop listening and fueling rumors.

“It will go on for many years to come; parents should not be alarmed,” the businessman assured parents whose were concerned that the school is closing at a time when the first term of the year was just commencing. The businessman assured parents that everything is being done to maintain and improve the school academic performance.

How Sudhir acquired Kampala Parents School

Kampala Parents School was the first private school in Uganda according to KasoleBwerere the man who started the school on Namirembe road, Old Kampala. Bwerere started the school in 1975 during the tumultuous days of President Idi Amin. He many years later sold the now prospering and famous school to Sudhir Ruparelia in 2004.

The manner in which Sudhir Ruparelia acquired the school has been questioned over the years with many people suggesting that Ruparelia grabbed the vibrant school when Bwerere failed to pay a loan he had acquired in Crane Bank.

But Bwerere in an interview with EagleOnline explains that it was a mutual transaction for which he was paid fully and in cash.  He denied ever talking to journalists or anybody complaining that Sudhir Ruparelia stole or grabbed his school. He says that he was a willing seller to a willing buyer.

“I went out as a willing seller and Mr. Sudhir (Ruparelia) came out as a willing buyer. Among the three possible buyers, Sudhir had the best offer. He was to pay all the money at once unlike the other two who wanted to complete payment after years; possibly from the fees from my pupils. We sat down (myself and Sudhir) and agreed on terms. He paid me cash… cash down. So all these saying that Sudhir grabbed my school I just don’t have any idea of where they are getting that from.

I never had any loan with Sudhir nor did I own any account in his bank at the time. I only got to know Sudhir through Kasagga who brought him to me as a buyer of the school and he fully paid me. Unfortunately the key witness (the late Zzimwe) is no longer around. However, his friends; Kirumira (Godffrey), Mudunga is close friends are all aware. I don’t demand anything from him. In fact he saved me because I had loans that I had failed to pay the loans.” Bwerere said clearing the air surrounding the transaction.

Oil Delays Worrying – Bank Of Uganda

The delayed production of oil and gas is worrying and could cause a debt distress to Uganda, Adam Mugume, executive director for research at Bank of Uganda, told Reuter’s Erias Baryamureeba in an interview this week.

"We have pushed oil very far, every now and then we're not ready. We should start now getting worried about debt distress.” Reuters quotes Mugume who warned that the country’s debt load could become problematic if Uganda does not begin exporting crude soon.

Mugume told Reuters that Uganda will be having a serious challenge and struggle with debt repayments in two to three years. According to Reuters, Uganda’s Total external debt stood at $10.3 billion in May, mostly money borrowed to fund infrastructure projects like roads and hydro power generation.

Despite discovering oil and gas in the albertine graben in 2006, Uganda has not moved into production stage. This delay has been a concern among the industry stakeholders especially oil companies who are desperate to start production.

President Yoweri Museveni said in June that Uganda will start oil production in 2020. Uganda boasts of 6.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves with 1.7 billion said to be recoverable. Three international oil companies – Tullow Oil Plc, Total E&P and CNOOC together with government are fast tracking oil development.

Uganda and Tanzania earlier this year agreed to construct a crude export pipeline from Hoima to the Port of Tanga. Uganda is also negotiating with a South Korean company to construct a refinery after the Russian firm which had been given the deal pulled out.

Why Total Is Taking Over Exiting GAPCO

Fuel distributor Total is taking over Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation's (GAPCO) assets in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania for a yet to be disclosed amount. Reliance Industries Limited, which owned GAPCO through Reliance Exploration & Production DMCC, is exiting its African fuel retail business by selling its entire 76% stake to Total SA of France.

Reliance Industries owned a 76% stake in GAPCO while Fortune Oil Corp, Mauritius owned the remaining 24%. According to reports, Total is acquiring stake of both firms. The proposed transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

"Reliance Exploration & Production DMCC, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of RIL and Total, have executed agreements on May 30, 2016 for the sale of the entire 76 per cent interest held by REPDMCC in the Mauritius-incorporated Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation (GAPCO)," RIL said in a statement at the end of May.

"Since the acquisition of 76 per cent equity interest in GAPCO by REPDMCC in 2007, GAPCO has significantly grown and is one of leading petroleum marketing companies in East Africa, which now operates 108 retail outlets and owns 2,60,000 kilolitre of storage capacity," the statement added.

Good business for Total

GAPCO has been primarily engaged in petroleum product import and trading, storage, distribution, marketing, supply and transportation of oil products in East Africa. In Uganda GAPCO was incorporated in 1994 by acquiring all assets and shares of Esso Standard Uganda. GAPCO Uganda has extended storage and distribution services in major towns across Uganda ever since.

Florentin de Loppinot Managing Director, Total Uganda, commenting on the takeover, said the addition of GAPCO’s assets to their retail network will enable them serve more customers. The acquisition will bring the total of Total Uganda service stations to 125 in the country. In Uganda, the acquisition is expected to be completed between October and December. 

‘’Total Uganda is pleased to be part of Total’s expansion drive in East Africa. The addition of GAPCO’s assets to our retail network will enable us to serve more customers with our quality products and within convenient locations. As we celebrate our 60 th year in the country, safety, operational excellence and customer focus will remain our priorities in the years to come.’’ Florentin de Loppinot Managing Director, Total Uganda

The deal also gives Total ownership of two logistical terminals in Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, as well as a retail network of over 100 service stations. The takeover will further expand Total’s retail base which is already notable in the three countries. In Uganda, GAPCo has two depos; one in Kampala and the other in Jinja, eastern Uganda. 

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