Tilenga project reaches new milestone with 20 million man-hours

TotalEnergies EP Uganda has reached another key milestone on the Tilenga project - the achievement of 20 million man-hours without Lost Time Incidents (LTI). This significant industry milestone was achieved on August 10, 2023, exactly 226 days since the 10 million man-hour mark that was realized in January 2023.

With safety at the core of its operations, TotalEnergies EP Uganda has relentlessly established and maintained a safety culture among its over 8,000 employees and contractors aimed at reinforcing continuous vigilance of all the risks and mitigations in all the Company’s operations.

“At TotalEnergies, Safety is the cornerstone of the Company’s values because at the end of the day, a company that is not safe is not sustainable. We are therefore uncompromising when it comes to Safety. said Philippe GROUEIX, General Manager TotalEnergies EP Uganda.

“The achievement of this milestone reflects our collective commitment towards delivering this complex and large-scale project without accidents and puts us well on our way towards becoming one of the best performing TotalEnergies affiliates in safety. This record is underpinned by our organizational culture, permanent attention to potential risks, systematic implementation of our Safety Golden Rules, leadership commitment, training and involvement of all employees and contractors,” he added.

Cyril CHAMPIGNY, TotalEnergies EP Uganda Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Director commended the role of contractors in the achievement of the safety milestone. “Our HSE strategy is heavily reliant on the strict compliance of not only our staff but all contractors whilst also safeguarding community wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to note that 94% of the man-hours have been executed by our contractors and it is a tremendous reflection of our combined commitment towards minimizing risks and enhancing our safety performance on the Tilenga project”

“Key to our culture is our safety performance. We strive to be world class in everything we do all around the world, and Tilenga is a very important part of that legacy that we hope to instill here in Uganda” said, Kenneth FINDLAY, HSE Manager, McDermott - one of the Tilenga project’s biggest contractor for Engineering, Procurement, Supply, Construction and Commissioning.

A lost time incident (LTI) is an injury sustained on the job by an employee that results in the loss of productive work time for more than 24 hours, permanent disability or even death. The measurement of LTI is a lagging indicator that is aimed at measuring a company’s incidents in the form of past accident statistics.

TotalEnergies surpasses 10-million-man hours without injuries at Tilenga

TotalEnergies EP Uganda has successfully achieved 10-million-man hours without Lost Time Injuries (LTI) on the Tilenga Project. This crucial health and safety industry milestone was achieved on January 13th, 2023.

Measurement of LTI is a lagging indicator which is aimed at measuring a company’s incidents in the form of past accident statistics. It measures all on-the-job injuries that require a person to stay away from work for more than 24 hours, or which result in death or permanent disability.

“Safety is a core value at TotalEnergies EP Uganda and our achievement of 10-million-man hours without injuries is testament to the fact that all our employees and contractors take this value seriously,” Philippe Groueix, the General Manager TotalEnergies EP Uganda said.

“It is important to recognize the key role played by the dedicated Health, Safety and Environment teams as well as the site supervision teams who work in close collaboration with our contractors to ensure that safety remains a priority for all. Given the significant increase of our activities on site, it is critical to reinforce our collective commitment to safeguarding the lives of everybody working on the project,” he added.

Groueix explained that safety is of utmost importance in any oil and gas activity, and TotalEnergies EP Uganda is committed to ensuring that all safety measures are in place to protect its employees, facilities, the environment, and the communities in which it operates.

Currently, the Tilenga project employs more than 5,000 people working with TotalEnergies EP Uganda and its contractors both on site and in Kampala.

The Company has invested heavily in state-of-the-art technology and equipment, local and international experts for the development of the projects and has put in place strict safety protocols to minimize risks on its sites.


Oil Project-Affected Persons Protest Over Delayed Justice

Households whose land in Hoima district was acquired for the Kabaale Industrial Park, commonly known as the oil refinery project, yesterday protested against the Ugandan judiciary’s failure to dispense them with justice. The protest took place in Hoima district.

Those whose land was compulsorily acquired by TotalEnergies for the Tilenga Industrial Area in Buliisa district also held a protest against the judiciary. The protest took place in Buliisa district.

The households filed cases in Uganda’s High Court and Court of Appeal in 2014 and 2021 respectively. The households sought court’s intervention to protect their right to receiving prompt, fair and adequate compensation that is provided for under Article 26 of Uganda’s 1995 Constitution.

Unfortunately, since filing of the court cases, the people have never received justice.

“Court was supposed to hear our case yesterday [February 9] but when we arrived at the Hoima High Court, we were informed that our case file is still at the Masindi High Court.

On November 10, 2022, however, the Masindi High Court told us not to go back to Masindi. They informed us that our case would be heard at the Hoima High Court,”  Innocent Tumwebaze, the chairperson of the Oil Refinery Residents Association (ORRA), says.

He adds, “To make matters worse, even if the file had been at Hoima High Court, no hearing would have taken place because the judge was absent.”

Margaret Nankya, an oil refinery-affected person, says, “Why are the courts failing poor communities? Do they want to contribute to the oil curse? If poor women’s land is taken and the women aren’t paid fair and adequate compensation, then women are condemned to poverty. This is unacceptable and courts must stop such injustices. It however looks like they are not interested in protecting us.”

John Tundulu, one of the Tilenga community observers, says, “Justice is not for the poor: this is the conclusion that the judiciary perhaps wants us to arrive at. When government sued us in 2020, the judiciary quickly heard government’s case and said that we must take the inadequate and unfair compensation that TotalEnergies was giving us for our property.

We filed an appeal against this unfair judgement in 2021. The appeal has never been fixed for hearing nearly two years later. This is despite us writing to the Deputy Chief Justice requesting that we be given justice.”

The Ugandan government sued the nine Tilenga Industrial Area-affected households that rejected TotalEnergies’ low compensation because Total acquired their land on behalf of the Ugandan government.

The Tilenga- and oil refinery-affected people have promised that after their protests in the Bunyoro sub-region, they are going to hold demonstrations at the offices of the Principal Judge and Deputy Chief Justice in Kampala before the end of this month.

“The oil-affected people must be listened to. The Ugandan government and its partners including TotalEnergies as well as China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) must walk their talk on respecting human rights.

They tell financiers and other stakeholders that they are implementing their projects in the most sustainable and human rights-compliant manner but this is far from the truth.

They are trampling on communities’ rights and institutions such as the judiciary that should be holding them accountable are only looking on,” Mr. Dickens Kamugisha, the CEO of Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), says.

AFIEGO has empowered the people since 2011 to defend their rights.

TotalEnergies, Partners Sign Four Important Agreements To Foster Sustainable Development Of Uganda’s Oil & Gas

TotalEnergies has made clear commitments toward ensuring that its activities are conducted in line with best environmental and social practices, Philippe Groueix, the General Manager of TotalEnergies EP Uganda Wednesday said at the launch of TEPU Take Action Campaign.

The campaign aimed at showcasing the positive impact of TotalEnergies' activities in the Tilenga Project area also saw four key important agreements signed to enhance road safety, cultural heritage and biodiversity conservation in the Albertine region.

“We are committed to working with partners who are experts in implementing sustainable projects aimed at achieving positive outcomes for conservation, culture and communities,” Groueix stated further.

TotalEnergies signed an agreement with Safe Way Right Way (SWRW) for road safety initiatives in schools, Cross Cultural Foundation Uganda (CCFU) for the implementation of a cultural dialogue and heritage programme, and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to support UWA law enforcement activities in the MFNP park and Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWT) to promote community, education and awareness around Budongo forest central reserve.

These agreements, Groueix said, are just the beginning of a much bigger programme of partnerships for the implementation of TotalEnergies' actions for sustainability while pursuing the production of Uganda’s oil and gas.

Barbra Babweteera Mutambi, the Executive Director (ED) of Cross Cultural Foundation Uganda (CCFU) explained that key activities to be undertaken under this program include identifying, safeguarding and promoting traditional knowledge, and facilitation of value addiction in crafts making and traditional music.

“The project aims to promote culture as a key to improving community and individual livelihood, particularly through capacity building and intercultural collaborations in artistic initiatives, crafts, and traditional music, with more focus on women, youth, and children,” she said.

This will not be the first time Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) is working with TotalEnergies in the Albertine region – the latest partnership is an extension of a relationship where both have been working in Budongo Forest using radio drama.

Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Dr Joshua Rukundo noted that TotalEnergies has developed strategies to use new cleaner ways of extracting energy.

Simon Nampindo, the Country Director, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) stated that projects like Tilenga have a long duration of over 25years and during that period WCS’s role will be to use science to conserve the environment. TotalEnergies should be able to take criticism based on science, he added.

TotalEnergies will be implementing the Road Safety and Mobility Program in schools to deal with the traffic in the Albertine region.  It is predicted traffic will double over the coming years due to increased oil and gas activities.

The program themed Road Safety at Heart prioritizes road safety sensitization and awareness in schools with specific emphasis on young children and the youths in the Albertine region. It seeks to reach 100 schools and over 38,000 students.

EACOP Route SMEs To Get Enterprise Training, Mentorship

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has signed a contract with Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL) and other partners to build the capacity of over 200 Ugandan enterprises along the crude export oil pipeline route to compete for contracts to supply Uganda’s oil and gas sector, and other related opportunities. 

The consortium of partners, which is led by SBIL includes Conexus Oil & Gas, Solid Rock Life & Business, and Living Earth Uganda, will carry out the training of over 200 Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the ten (10) districts along the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) route. The districts are Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Gomba, Mubende, Lwengo, Sembabule, Kyotera, and Rakai. 

The business development training is one of the three major components of the MSMEs business linkages project along the EACOP project being implemented by the PAU with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB). 

The latest development comes following the announcement of the Final Investment Decision (FID) for Uganda’s oil and gas projects on 1st February 2022.

The FID announcement signifies the commitment of the oil companies to invest close to US$ 10 billion to develop Uganda’s oil and gas resources through the implementation of the Tilenga Project in Buliisa and Nwoya districts; the Kingfisher Project in Hoima and Kikuube Districts (approximately US$6-8bn); and the EACOP. 

While addressing the event, Mr. Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director, PAU said these investments present enormous opportunities for value addition in the country and there are many opportunities for Ugandan enterprises to participate.

“However, taking up the opportunities will require adequate preparation and the enterprises will have to demonstrate that they have the required capacity to deliver against sector requirements. The objective of this business development consultancy, therefore, is to build the capacity of MSMEs along the EACOP pipeline.” 

Tony Otoa, the Chief Executive SBIL said SBIL is pleased to lead this consortium of partners which brings a lot of value to this project.

 “Beyond training these MSMEs, we will offer mentorship and opportunities to access to finance and markets. Therefore, I can confidently say that today’s signing is our way of ensuring Uganda’s growth is realized and key to this is supporting local enterprises by way of building their capacity to ensure they compete for contracts to supply Uganda’s oil and gas sector.” 

At the same event, the PAU also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) aimed at enhancing private sector participation in the oil and gas sector. 

Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer at PSFU revealed that the partnership was timely as the private sector was grappling with solving the problem of youth unemployment. 

“Through this partnership, the private sector will not only bring on board the necessary skills for capacity building, but we will also harness all the opportunities presented by the huge investment in the oil and gas sector to further enhance Uganda’s economic development,” said Asiimwe. 

Mr. Asiimwe added that the oil and gas sector is expected to increase Uganda’s GDP by 22% by end of the construction phase and will employ 14,000 people directly and 45,000 people indirectly. 

“As PSFU, we anticipate that at least 30% of the total expenditure on investment in Uganda will be retained and this, we believe, will significantly change the private sector,” stressed Asiimwe. 

The PAU’s mandate is to monitor and regulate the exploration, development, and production, together with the refining, gas conversion, transportation, and storage of petroleum in Uganda. 

This includes ensuring that petroleum operations in Uganda are carried out in accordance with the relevant laws, regulations, guidelines, statutes, and in line with international best practice for the petroleum industry. In addition, the PAU is required to monitor national participation in the sector. 

On its part, SBIL trains and facilitates MSMEs to develop resilient businesses, access ready markets, finances, and other business support resources. Since founding in 2008, SBIL has trained 3,234 Ugandan entrepreneurs attached to 2,007 SMEs.

PATRICK POUYANNÉ: We Are Fully Aware Of Social & Environmental Challenges Uganda Oil Projects Present

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné, has promised that the lead joint venture partner in the development and eventual production of Uganda's oil and gas resources will use the Lake Albert Development Project as an exemplary project in terms of shared prosperity and sustainable development.

The Lake Albert Development Project has come under scrutiny from Civil Society Organizations who argue that the project possess risks to the environment and the social wellbeing of host communities not only in Uganda and Tanzania but also in DR Congo.

But Pouyanné is quelling these fears saying that TotalEnergies is committed to implementing action plans that will have a net positive impact on biodiversity as part of the implementation of these projects.

“We are fully aware of the important social and environmental challenges it represents. We will pay particular attention to use local skills, to develop them through training programs, to boost the local industrial sector in order to maximize the positive local return of this project," said Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.

He added: "With today's signing of a framework agreement on renewable energy, we are laying the foundation to implement our multi-energy strategy in Uganda and contribute to people's access to energy."

TotalEnergies maintains that this oil development is in line with TotalEnergies' strategy of only approving new projects if they are low-cost and low emissions.

In particular, the design of the facilities incorporates several measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions well below 20 kg CO2eq/boe, including the extraction of Liquefied Petroleum Gas for use in regional markets as a substitute for burning biomass, and the solarization of the EACOP pipeline.

On 1st February, 2022 TotalEnergies and the energy ministry signed a MoU for the development of renewable energy with the objectives of developing 1GW of installed capacity, promoting access to electricity and clean energy, supporting national climate change objectives through the deployment of carbon footprint reduction projects.

Earlier, that day Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, the Vice-President of Tanzania, Patrick Pouyanné, representatives of China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Uganda National Oil Company and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation announced the final investment decision for the the Lake Albert Development Project.

The Lake Albert Development Project encompasses the Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects in Uganda and the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda and Tanzania.

The Tilenga project, operated by TotalEnergies, and the Kingfisher project, operated by CNOOC, are expected to start producing in 2025 and to reach a cumulative plateau production of 230,000 barrels per day.

The upstream partners are TotalEnergies (56.67%), CNOOC (28.33%) and UNOC (15%).

Production from the oil fields in Uganda will be transported to the port of Tanga in Tanzania through the EACOP cross-border pipeline, whose shareholders are TotalEnergies (62%), UNOC (15%), TPDC (15%) and CNOOC (8%).

TotalEnergies says that all partners are committed to implementing these projects in an exemplary manner, taking into consideration the environmental and biodiversity stakes, as well as the rights of the concerned communities, in accordance with the stringent performance standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).  

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