Countries agree on joint petroleum refining
Posted Monday, February 25 2013 at 02:00
Regional leaders believe once implemented, the refinery will enhance simultaneous development.
At least 14 countries in the Great Lakes Region have agreed to work out and support regional frameworks for refining petroleum. The agreement was reached by representatives of Comoros, Burundi, Madagascar, Rwanda, Uganda among others.
The countries agreed to commit themselves to an East African oil project to substitute the individual oil refineries that each (oil) producing member in the region had outlined.
The idea, fronted by Mr Stephen Dhieu Dau, the Minister of Petroleum, South Sudan, adopted a recommendation of the 17th meeting of Intergovernmental Committee of Experts that ended last week in Kampala.
“This project will largely depend on individual political heads (and their commitment) but it is in our best interest, then possibly we can look at further integration,” Mr Dau said.
He said once implemented, the refinery would strengthen cooperation and enhance simultaneous development of the oil sectors in the region.
Mr Dau said oil in South Sudan would start flowing if individual countries establish priorities such infrastructure and markets.
Uganda with oil volumes of 3.5 billion barrels is finalising plans for a refinery for 60,000 barrels per day by 2015. Ms Maria Kiwanuka, the Minister of Finance, welcomed the strategy, adding: “We are about to revise over 54 national laws that will work across the region once approved by the regional parliament and the secretariat.”
Frameworks include plans to institute and stock strategic reserves of petroleum to lower the economic costs of energy disruptions.