The refinery to create more jobs than a crude pipeline would have managed, says Oil Study

The refinery that Uganda plans to build is likely to create “significantly more jobs” for Ugandans than a crude pipeline would have managed according to the Foster Wheeler refinery study in Uganda.

The report says that the construction of a refinery o.r a pipeline will increase the skills based in the region and lead to the creation of a number of jobs born directly at the facilities and indirectly providing support.

“At this phase the number of jobs created permanently in Uganda is difficult to assess as it requires an assessment of existing skills and to a certain extent will also depend on the level of growth produced in the local and regional economies.” The report argues.

The construction of the refinery will require in the region of 4000 to 6000 jobs. Most of these jobs will only be short term (for around 24 months). However this could be sufficient time to develop basic skills in the country that would then be transferable to future projects. 

The report says that during the operating phase, the refinery will create about 664 jobs for operating and maintaining the refinery. In addition to this, a significant number of jobs will be created in industries and infrastructure required to support the refinery.

The skill sets for the anticipated jobs include process engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, civil engineers, welders, pipe fitters, laboratory technicians, accountants, secretaries and security guards.

Operation of the upstream facilities will require 378 staff to operate and maintain the facilities.  It is expected that the majority of jobs in the upstream (378) and refinery (664) areas would be relatively well paying at incomes well above the average wage in Uganda.

“In addition to the jobs created directly by the refinery and upstream facilities it is expected that a significant number of jobs would be created in the surrounding communities,” The report says.

“Some of these jobs will be created in supporting infrastructure and may include doctors, nurses, teachers, waste handlers, cleaners, gardeners and mechanics among others. Others jobs will be created in the service and leisure provision industry, for example chefs, waiters and shopkeepers.”

The number of jobs created in the local community will depend on a number of factors but it is expected that this could range from 0.5 to 1 job for every job created by the project. This would result in total of 1500 to 2100 jobs being created in Uganda due to the refinery.  

On the other hand the pipeline will require 246 staff to operate and maintain the facilities on the pipeline route. However because the pipeline crosses Kenya a number of jobs will be created in Kenya rather than Uganda. Because the construction of the pipeline is generally carried out by specialist teams that follow the pipeline as it is built, the number of jobs created in Uganda during the construction of the pipeline will be much lower than the number of jobs created during the construction of the refinery.

After construction, the crude pipeline case will employ a total of 630 people but if you assume that half of the pipeline jobs would be in Kenya. And assuming that each job will generate an additional 0.5 to 1 job in the local economy this would result in 750 to 1000 jobs in total (about half the number from the refinery project).

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