Following the recent conclusion of key agreements for the oil sector in April 2021, the executive director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU, Ernest Rubondo has emphasised the magnitude of the planned oil and gas developments in the country.
PAU recently evaluated the readiness of the sector for the development phase which involves construction of the required infrastructure to process the crude oil for transportation and refining into finished products.
The evaluation included visits and dialogues with district leaders from Nwoya, Buliisa and Hoima districts, vocational institutes such as Uganda Petroleum Institute, Kigumba, St. Simon Vocational Institute, Buhimba Technical Institute, and security committees in the Albertine Graben.
The assessment also covered field visits to the Kingfisher development area, Tilenga project area and Kabaale industrial Park.
Following the assessment, Rubondo explained that it is clear that the institutions have made significant effort to prepare for the opportunities that have opened up, highlighting the visible socio-economic and spatial transformation of the Albertine Graben.
“One of the biggest projects in Uganda is Karuma dam whose value is about $1.4 billion. This is far below the value that the oil and gas projects are destined to deliver here in the near future, which shall be in the range of $15 billion to $20 billion,” said Rubondo.
He singled out that significant benefits have already been delivered by the industry even before commercial oil production starts.
These include improved infrastructure like the 700kms of roads and electricity connectivity, capacity building initiatives, supply opportunities, social amenities in health, education and sanitation, some of which are part of the livelihood restoration programmes for the communities (structures and improvement programmes), among others.
Simon Agaba Kinene, the former LCV chairperson for Buliisa district praised the government for the deliberate initiatives put in place to ensure local participation.
“The local community and project affected persons have understood the ongoing process and they are ready to benefit from this development phase. The Kirama piped water extension project is a key milestone in the Tilenga project area, serving five villages: Kichoke, Kirama, Katodyo, Katanga, and Wanseko,” he said.
The senior stakeholder engagement officer at PAU, Didas Muhumuza explained that PAU has facilitated the participation of Ugandans as employees and providers of goods and services in the oil and gas sector, through the National Oil and Gas Talent Register (NOGTR) and the National Supplier Database (NSD), respectively.
As of June 2021, Muhumuza said 3,169 companies are registered on the NSD while 4,682 Ugandans are registered on the NOGTR.