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Government has earmarked 2900 hectares of land for the development of the oil refinery in Kabaale Parish, Hoima district.
Irene Batebe, the Petroleum officer of the refining, petroleum exploration and production department in the ministry of energy says Hoima land board has approved the surveying of the refinery land.
"We have not yet selected the refinery developer, but it will be through a competitive bidding process for identifying the survey," Batebe said.
She added that: "The refinery will serve as our main center for refinery. We shall be using pipes to collect oil from other exploration centers to this main refinery".
She was speaking recently during a dialogue with journalists at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
Batebe noted that the ministry is currently studying the survey to establish how much money it will cost and how many people are likely to be affected by the development.
"The area is sparsely populated but we have hired a consultant to find out how many people are currently staying on the land for compensation," she stated.
Batebe explained that they would also use the site for expansion purposes in future and that the construction of the refinery is expected to be completed in a period of three years.
The refinery will be developed through the public private partnership and it will cost US$600m.
Batebe noted that there was need to use the oil resource sustainably for the benefit of the future generation.
The ministry rubbished allegations that they were already exporting crude oil, and clarified that what has been exported was only for testing.
"Government cannot do the testing, so some oil was exported for testing and the rest of it is being stored", said Bukenya Matovu, communications officer in the Ministry of Energy.
He said they expect to start production after acquiring all the necessary infrastructural facilities that are needed for production.
BY HENRY SEKANJAKO
The New Vision Newspaper
2 MAY 2012
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