Uganda’s oil and gas industry has last week got a boost by unveiling the first ever National Suppliers Database of more than 290 approved firms to supply goods and services.
According to the Independent Newspaper, The companies can now be accessed on the Petroleum Authority of Uganda’s website www.pau.go.ug. The move is in fulfillment of the Petroleum Exploration Development and Production Act of 2013 that requires the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, to among other things, establish and publicize a central database of persons and enterprises involved in petroleum activities in the country.
Speaking to the media in Kampala on July 04, Ernest Rubondo, the executive director of PAU, said 753 companies submitted their applications before the closing date of May 15, 2017.
Out of these, 501 were locally registered while 252 companies came from as far as Norway, UAE, Uruguay, Kenya, Tanzania, USA, Australia, Barbados, Canada, China, France, India, Hong Kong, Mexico, Namibia, Mauritius, Denmark, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Panama, Poland, South African and Spain.
“The qualified companies represent an array of expertise; from the Halliburton’s’ and Weatherford’s to Ugandan startups which only launched this year. It also includes companies based in the heart of the Albertine region,” Rubondo said.
He said the applicants were required to provide information regarding their ownership, proof of registration, tax and NSSF compliance in addition to providing their physical address and showing the nature of services and goods they deal in.
He said the national supplier’s data base is being developed as an online web-based platform for purposes of regulating the procurement of goods and services in the oil and gas sector.
He added that the Authority will subsequently automate the development of the database by making the submissions and responses to the applicants digital so that everything is done online for transparency, accountability and efficiency.
“The database will further be developed to support joint qualification applications and an e-market for the procurement of goods and services in the oil and gas sector,” he said, adding that PAU has benchmarked its platform with countries like Malaysia, Brazil, Norway, Nigeria, Israel and Angola.
This new development comes at a time when joint venture partners in Uganda’s oil sector—Total E&P Uganda, Tullow Oil Uganda and CNOOC Uganda Ltd are frantically working to ensure that they hit the government’s target of producing first oil by the end of 2020.
Uganda is looking towards the development of a $3.5 bn crude oil export pipeline and a $4bn oil refinery. Also, preparations for the development of other appropriate infrastructure including an international airport, a 500km road network within the Albertine region are underway.
At stake is a huge expected investment of $8-20bn over the next three to five years, with up to 60% of the estimated funds likely to be spent on procurement and transportation, according to experts in the logistics industry.
Going forward, Adewale Fayemi, the General Manager of Total E&P Uganda said the supplier data base would help oil companies do their work in a smooth manner but it will also give visibility to the local companies enhancing the development of local suppliers.
He said it would also become easier for the companies to go into the supplier data base, pick and promote those companies to strengthen the service providers’ competencies as it is done in other countries.
He also noted that the fact that businesses had come from 32 countries goes far in showing the level of confidence that other countries have in Uganda’s oil and gas industry.
Dr. Jane Mulemwa, the chairperson of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda Board said the country had entered into an exciting period of oil development and the government expects at least 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, in this preparation phase.
Mulemwa said the petroleum Authority is committed to ensuring that the public remains well-informed about the opportunities and investments available and relevant activities coming up.
“We want to ensure that there is a lot of transparency and accountability to the Ugandan public all the time and in order to ensure this, the PAU will keep the public aware by populating the PAU website.”
Meanwhile, Peninah Aheebwa, the technical support services director at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda said there are up to 26 services ring-fenced for Ugandan enterprises including; transportation, security and hospitality.
PAU intends to uphold the legal requirements on local content unless the joint oil venture partners demonstrate to PAU that there are no Ugandan entities that meet the standards before going for foreign companies. PAU plans to publish the database for 2018 by the end of December, this year.