Government sources confirm that the Ugandan cabinet last week picked General Electric (G.E), one of the companies vying for the financing and construction of an oil refinery, to complete the venture.
The meeting was held at State House Entebbe, the residency of the President.
GE, an American company is a part of the Intra-continental Asset Holdings (IA) consortium, Mauritius-based private equity firm, and includes amongst others Washington based Yaatra Ventures LLC, and Italy’s Saipem SpA.
This development could bring to a close the fractious phase of procuring a refinery for Uganda’s oil, long an ambition of the country. Initially, Ugandan authorities insisted oil development would only proceed if a dual track of a crude oil pipeline and a refinery were brought online simultaneously.
Since then however a crude oil pipeline has moved ahead . Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) is currently under review with investors and operators positioning their companies for the initial construction phase.
Last year the Energy ministry said the consortium – to which GE belongs would form a special purpose vehicle, the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium (AGRC), in which each would undertake a specific role during Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of the refinery.
The process however run into legal hurdles when China’s Guangzhou DongSong Energy, which was apparently ranked best during an earlier due diligence protested. GE was in second place.
Sources however say that with the financial, technical and other aspects of the consortium in place – the government believes the new direction would deliver a refinery.
As the decision is made public GE will now proceed to pre-Final Investment Decision (FID) overseeing the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) for the refinery, report on the Project Capital and Investment Costs Estimations (PCE), Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA), and eventually the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Investment)