The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has established a set of conditions that must be met by contractors of the Kingfisher feeder pipeline before being granted an operational license to commence construction, News Vision reported.
Stretching from the Buhuka landing site in Kikuube to the Kabaale industrial hub in the Hoima district, China Offshore Oil Corporation, the national oil company of China, had previously been contracted to develop the Kingfisher oil development field in Buhuka.
Recently, they subcontracted another Chinese company, Daqing Oilfield Construction Group, to construct the feeder pipeline responsible for transporting crude oil from the oil wells to the central processing facility in the Kabaale industrial hub.
During a monitoring and supervision process led by Executive Director Ernest Rubondo, a PAU team made a noteworthy discovery. It was revealed that the subcontractors had not provided employment opportunities to local welders.
According to PAU, the contractors must meet the following conditions:
- Daqing Oilfield Construction Group must hire local subcontractors for trenching and provide training for local welders.
- The company should also absorb welders who have already been trained by the government and other oil companies such as TotalEnergies, EACOP, and CNOOC. Additionally, they are encouraged to employ a substantial number of locals for casual labor prior to the approval of their construction permit.
Alex Nyombi, a representative of PAU, expressed hope that once the necessary adjustments are made, Daqing will be granted an operating license. This move is expected to not only benefit the company but also contribute to the reduction of unemployment in the area.
During discussions, Rubondo expressed surprise upon learning that Daqing had only 10 welders ready for the project despite their preparations. He emphasized the importance of knowing the company responsible for trenching, the identification process, and the selection of the campsite, stating that preparation is not the same as being prepared.
Hu Weijie, the vice president of CNOOC Uganda, advised the subcontractors to develop a comprehensive working plan and ensure all requirements are met to expedite work commencement.
In addition to the pipeline project, Rubondo also inspected the ongoing construction of the waste management plan by Luwero Industries Ltd. He urged the company to accelerate the remaining works, including installing a weighbridge.
Uganda is anticipating its first commercial oil production in 2025, and these developments in the pipeline construction and waste management sectors are critical steps toward achieving this goal.