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Uganda : Oil Marketing Companies Seek Amendment to Petroleum Supply Act for Specialized Imports

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Oil marketing companies (OMCs), represented by the Sustainable Energies and Petroleum Association (SEPA), are advocating for amendments to the Petroleum Supply Act to accommodate the import and supply of special petroleum products. While supporting the proposal to designate the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) as the sole importer of petroleum products, SEPA emphasizes the need for flexibility in cases where UNOC is unable to import specific high-grade petrol products.

Anthony Ogalo, General Manager of SEPA, conveyed the OMCs’ willingness to import higher grade petrol, ranging from 95 to 98 octane, tailored for vehicles requiring premium fuel. He urged the amendment to allow OMCs to handle such imports during instances when UNOC faces limitations.

Ogalo presented these concerns before the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources during their review of the Petroleum Supply Amendment Bill, 2023. He stressed that while the bill outlines products exclusively imported by UNOC, it should consider the complexities of the supply chain, including evolving product grades, demand variations, and environmental factors that UNOC, as a monopoly, may struggle to address.

SEPA proposed extending the bill’s scope to permit OMCs to import other oil products not covered by the government’s specified list. The committee raised questions about SEPA’s apparent support for the UNOC monopoly, inquiring about the interests and potential impact on OMCs in the oil supply chain.

Hon. Eddie Kwizera questioned SEPA’s alignment with UNOC as the sole supplier, considering that both entities operate as traders. The committee sought clarification on how the bill would affect OMCs and impact pump prices for consumers.

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In response, Hon. Emmanuel Otaala, the Committee Chairperson, directed SEPA to provide a comprehensive analysis of the bill. The committee requested a detailed explanation of how the proposed amendments address common issues related to oil trade and contribute to ensuring a stable supply of petroleum products in the Ugandan market.

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