Oil refinery to displace 30,000
The Uganda government is pushing ahead with plans for an oil refinery despite warnings that it could be counterproductive if neighbouring Kenya makes commercially viable oil finds.
Honey Malinga, the assistant commissioner Geophysics in the Petroleum Exploration and Production department at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, says building a refinery is proceeding because the decision to have it in Uganda reached after discussions between the heads of state of East Africa.
The viability of building an oil refinery in Uganda, which was agreed before Tullow Oil farmed down part of its concession to Chinese oil giant, CNOOC and Total, has come into question since Kenya reported hitting oil early this year. Kenya, which already has a refinery and a sea route for evacuation of export oil products, is considered by some experts to be better positioned. It has also been argued that East Africa is a small market and can only support a few refineries.
The regionís total demand for oil is estimated at 164,000 barrels per day but it already has a 70,000 barrel refinery at Mombasa that is also operating at half capacity and can easily be upgraded.
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