With its vision to be an innovative and profitable organisation that operates across the entire petroleum value chain for the benefit of all Ugandans, Uganda National Oil Company Limited (UNOC) is one of the most important companies in Uganda whose investments will represent a large increase in Uganda’s GDP and its development. CEO of UNOC, Proscovia Nabbanja, says that being one of the founding members of UNOC is among her greatest achievements. “What you see today is a fully-fledged institution and it is exciting to see that we have a portfolio of projects stretching across upstream, midstream and the downstream segments. Knowing that we are going to make a difference in this country from a sector that is willing to invest US$15 to 20 billion and with a return value in 25 years that is potentially more than the current GDP of the country, I am proud to be part of that.”
One of the hallmark projects that are ready to energise the oil and gas industry post-COVID is the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline, which is reaching its goal with the Final Investment Decision projected for early 2021. The oil fields will produce around 230,000 bpd, an immense quantity not only for Ugandan refinery but for the international market. On this auspicious opportunity, Nabbanja says, “The achievement of FID of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline will be a key milestone for us and pave the way for many things. First, it will make our crude hit the international market. It will also give visibility to the future of the refinery project, further exploration and attract more investment in the sector.” UNOC has been working steadily with partners and key government agencies to secure the Final Investment Decision in order to commercialise oil and gas resources. She continues, “The East African Crude Oil Pipeline is going to create a lot of business opportunities to supply goods and services to the project and it will create job opportunities during the construction phase, directly benefiting the host communities.” The project puts Uganda in a prime position for investments and will have a positive impact within Uganda and the East Africa region.
Overall, UNOC’s mission is to drive sustainable growth in the oil and gas sector through strategic partnerships and championing national participation. Aside from the Pipeline Project, UNOC boasts many other sustainable projects that bring revenue to the economy.
Nabbanja says, “Some of our other projects that are not dependent on the FID include the storage terminals. We have one storage terminal in Jinja and are set to construct another in Namwambula, on the outskirts of Kampala. This is an opportunity for UNOC to tap revenues from the low-hanging fruit projects. We have also embarked on trading in bulk petroleum products to supply the local market and regional forward markets. We have a business model built on sustainability recognising the need to generate revenue and make a return to the State.”
As Uganda emerges from the pandemic, she is led by His Excellency President Museveni’s Vision 2040, which is utilising oil and gas revenues to diversify the economy and develop sectors such as agro-processing, manufacturing, ICT and tourism. As the oil and gas sector directly or indirectly extends to other industries, it is playing a vital role in the country’s diversification. Nabbanja says, “The opportunities are there. We see the direct linkages with Vision 2040 driven by oil and gas for industrialisation. Some of our projects directly link to other sectors of the economy such as agriculture. The Kabaale petro-based industrial park will have linkages to the agriculture sector through fertiliser and agro-processing industries, as well as direct connection to the export market using the second international airport.” Due to these advantageous links, Nabbanja says that there are so many opportunities for investment in Uganda. “We are duty-bound to this nation to make sure that oil and gas resources are sustainable in the long-term and for the benefit of future generations to come.”
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Source; Forbes Africa