Work is getting under way in Uganda in preparation for the Lake Albert oil project, with the aim of reaching first oil by 2025.
The Uganda National Oil Co. (UNOC) reported that work had begun “in earnest” at the central processing facility (CPF) for the Tilenga field.
Mota-Engil is working on the site, in the Kasinyi village of the Buliisa district. The company is overseeing site preparation work.
Once this is complete, McDermott and Sinopec will take over engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work.
UNOC CEO Proscovia Nabbanja and Ugandan Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa visited the site this week. The minister called for all participants to ensure that first oil is reached on time in 2025.
UNOC also showed progress at the Hoima International Airport, part of the Kabaale Industrial Park. SBC Uganda is working on the 3.1 km runway. The work is 95% complete, while the entire airport is 66% complete.
The airport should begin operations by mid-2023.
The industrial park will also contain a petrochemical plant, the crude export hub and a refinery.
While the companies are making progress, the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has had to defend procurement processes. The agency noted allegations from a lawyer, Andrew Oluka, that the projects had failed to provide economic opportunities to Ugandans.
The PAU said it monitored national content requirements and that there has been no violation of economic rights.
The international companies have spent $171.9 million on goods and services from Ugandan companies between 2017 and 2020.
The PAU has monitored procurement processes from the international companies. It will continue to observe these.