01 March 2017, Kampala – Uganda has started the search for a consultant to undertake a study that will guide the creation of a well-managed transportation system of bulky petroleum products over Lake Victoria amid a poor road network that cannot adequately support the industry.
The government says petroleum products continues to grow by at least 10 per cent, with the most amount of this coming via road through the Kenyan port of Mombasa. With Uganda looking to produce at least 30,000 barrels of refined petroleum products per day, the plans to set up a petroleum transportation system are seen as a move for the country to transport its oil products to regional markets.
According to the ministry of Energy, the study will seek “to evaluate factors constraining bulky transportation of products over Lake Victoria and recommend interventions required to unlock the potential.”
The study might also recommend ways for Uganda to establish an oil jetty. The ministry of Energy notes that the study will also “Establish infrastructure requirements at best sited ports for handling bulky petroleum products in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.” The study should establish the kind of network that can support a transport system suitable for at least 20 years. The short list for the consultants is to be published on February 15.
A petroleum transportation system offers Uganda an alternative route from its inefficient road network, which, in its current state, is not able to support the oil industry the country seeks to create.
The idea to put up a petroleum transportation system over Lake Victoria is not new. In June 2015, President Yoweri Museveni met top officials from Mahathi Infra Services Private Ltd, who expressed interest in creating a transport system for petroleum products over Lake Victoria. Nothing concrete appeared to have come out of those discussions.
- The Observer