Uganda in new search for refinery investor:

Three months after RT Global Resources pulled out of negotiations to construct the oil refinery, government has launched a search for a new investor.

Dozith Abeinomugisha, the Assistant Commissioner in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, says government has restructured the entire oil refinery project and is looking for a new investor.

“Initially, we had a Public Private Partnership, but I think you are all aware, that Rostec [RT Global Resources] has left and now we are looking at restructuring the project to make it public-led instead of private sector-led, so that government takes majority of the shares and the private developer takes a smaller share,” Abeinomugisha said.

Abeinomugisha was speaking at the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) member’s annual general meeting at Kampala Serena Hotel last week.

In the previous arrangement, the refinery was to be constructed through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with a private lead investor contributing 60 percent of the investment while government, and possibly its EAC member states, contributed 40 percent equity. The Tanzanian and Kenyan governments have already expressed interest in taking up 8 and 2.5 percent stake respectively.

“That is the structure we are undertaking but we still need a lead investor who has the technology to build and operate the refinery,” Abeinomugisha told the meeting. “So, we are looking for an investor that will partner with government.” He was non-committal on whether government will call for fresh bids.

If government succeeds in securing an investor, both parties will form a refining company that will undertake financing, construction and operation of the refinery.

Report by Edward Ssekika