By ABCafrica reporter
Uganda’s Energy Ministry has stated that the country’s fuel imports in mid-September 2017 were recorded to 85m litres. The demand for the commodity had shot up growing at 7 per cent per annum. While briefing parliament on Tuesday, energy minister Irene Muloni said the 85m litres comprised of 34.6m litres of petrol, 42.5m litres of diesel, and 2.6m litres of kerosene. Jet fuel imports stood at 5m litres.
The majority of the petroleum products, 92 per cent, were imported through Mombasa port in Kenya, while only 8 per cent arrived via Dar es Salaam on the Tanzanian coast. The average daily consumption of all fuel products is 5.4m litres, according to the ministry. Ms Muloni said prices have been relatively stable over the last month.
Total petroleum imports rose by 9.7 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013. Kerosene declined by 8.4 per cent, while petrol and diesel imports increased by 13.4 per cent and 8.2 per cent respectively. (The energy ministry is yet to release fuel import figures for 2015.) Overall, petroleum imports have risen by 48.7 per cent since 2007.
“The strategies to keep the country well-supplied hinge on the effectiveness of the import routes and the in-country storage facilities,” Ms Muloni said. “In this case, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam ports together with other terminals in Kenya are all being utilized by oil marketing companies to import products into Uganda.”
At least 43 firms have active licenses to import petroleum products into the country. “As for stocks, the country has a combined total cover of 14 days’ supply. Of these, twelve days are provided by the private oil marketing companies and two days by government storage facilities at Jinja,” the minister noted.
Earlier statistics from Bank of Uganda showed that the sustained plummeting of oil prices on the international market had contributed to the decline in Uganda’s import bill by 21.4 per cent in 2016. The import bill stood at $132m, or Shs445.2bn, last year. The government has remained committed to its plan of constructing a local refinery to neutralize the effects of the fuel import bill, while at the same time tapping regional export markets.
The planned refinery will produce liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), diesel, petrol, kerosene, jet fuel and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). A feasibility study by the British consultancy Foster Wheeler said the refinery was commercially viable with a net present value of $3.2bn at a 10 per cent discount rate and an internal rate of return of 33 per cent.