By Isaac Ochieng

Uganda National Oil Company Limited (UNOC) needs $6.2m (sh22.8b) as its investment budget for the two financial years off FY 2020/21 (US$ 5.384 Million) and FY 2021/22 (US$ 0.8 Million), senior management has said. 

This was revealed during an inter-agency security task force on COVID-19 to update other government agencies on the role of ensuring national strategic fuel reserves at the Police headquarters in Naguru, Kampala.

UNOC has two wholly owned subsidiaries, namely, the Uganda Refinery Holding Company and the Uganda National Pipeline Company. It also manages the 30 million liter capacity Jinja Petroleum Storage Terminal.

Maintaining strategic reserves at the Jinja Storage Terminal (JST), is a key project under the downstream segment of the UNOC petroleum value chain, according to the CEO, Proscovia Nabbanja. 

This mandate is delivered through the National Pipeline Company Limited, one of UNOC’s wholly-owned subsidiaries.  

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in May 2017 handed over JST to UNOC, which henceforth manages it in a joint venture with M/s One Petroleum Ltd. 

Key in the joint venture is ensuring the terminal’s maintenance and availability of reserves, which help to cushion the country against sudden, unstable fuel supply.  

“Plans are underway to construct facilities for receiving fuel {by barge} on Lake Victoria. Lake transport will further improve the performance of the terminal through the construction of a jetty and connecting the pipeline for JST to L. Victoria,” Nabbanja told the task force. 

Using barges, she said, would reduce pressure on roads whilst providing a cost-effective alternative route for petroleum products.  

Present at the meeting, UNOC’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Mugagga, informed the Task Force of the UNOC’s Investment requirement totaling US$ 6.184 Million spread over a period of two financial years namely FY 2020/21 (US$ 5.384 Million) and FY 2021/22 (US$ 0.8 Million). 

The task force Chairman and the Chief of Staff Land Forces, UPDF, Major General Leopold Kyanda thanked UNOC for the informative session and pledged to support the activities including those at JST. 

He also urged UNOC to get more joint venture partners for the JST. More partners, he argued, would ensure optimal operations. 

The Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 comprises officers from different security agencies. It is mandated to enforce guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in the different Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). It was formed after Uganda registered cases of COVID-19.

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