Uganda Turns To Algeria To Fix Oil Refinery Gamble
President Yoweri Museveni, together with officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) led by Dr Ruth Nankabirwa, the minister, witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and Sonatrach, the State Oil Company of Algeria.
Eng Dr Michael Mugerwa, the General Manager of Uganda Refinery Holding Company, signed the MoU on behalf of Uganda while Sonatrach Chairman & CEO, Toufik Hakkar signed for Algeria.
UNOC said the MoU covers oil and gas cooperation in the Upstream, Midstream (refining and petrochemicals), Downstream, capacity building, and Oil & Gas Services.
The signing ceremony was held at the El Mouradia Presidential Palace in Algiers on Sunday, 12th March 2023 as one of the many engagements Museveni had in Algeria during a three-day state visit.
Museveni said they looking at Algeria investing in our refinery. “We want to build an inland refinery. It is absolutely necessary because it will cut transport costs seeing that we are far away from the coast,” he said in a brief update conveyed on Twitter.
Uganda has struggled to secure funding for her much-preferred oil refinery set for construction in the Albertine Graben region where some estimated 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil were discovered in 2006.
Negotiations with South Korean, Russian and American investors in the past haven’t yielded anything concrete; therefore, the country remains in constant search of a developer to take on the financing of the refinery.