Uganda to announce oil refinery bid winner next month

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) -Uganda expects to announce the winning bidder among four groups competing for a new 60,000 barrel per day (bpd) oil refinery next month, the country’s Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa told Reuters on Tuesday.

The development comes after negotiations with a consortium that included a unit of U.S. firm Baker Hughes lapsed in June over its failure to mobilise financing in time.

“The refinery is supposed to receive 60,000 barrels of crude oil every day and… come 2025 and I hope out of the four that we have one will convince us they will fast-track its development,” Nankabirwa told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of an energy conference in Cape Town.

Nankabirwa also said the Ugandan government was worried that talks with Chinese insurance company Sinosure to help finance the 1,445-kilometre (898-mile) East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) was taking too long.

She said Sinosure was not moving at the speed that Uganda required, with the Chinese company suggesting it would only announce its final decision on the project by June next year, potentially too late.

“We need just about $3 billion to conclude the financing of this crude pipeline and the more we delay, the more expensive the project will become,” Nankabirwa said.

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Writing by Tannur Anders and Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Susan Fenton and Ed Osmond)