Uganda in talks to import all its oil via Tanzania

Truck

Trucks transporting petroleum products to Uganda. File | Nation Media Group

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Uganda is negotiating with Tanzania to import all of its oil products through Dar es Salaam, which would mean an end to imports via Kenya's Mombasa port, Uganda's Energy minister told Reuters on Thursday.

Uganda has been dissatisfied with the longstanding system under which Ugandan fuel companies buy 90 percent of their supplies through affiliated firms in Kenya. President Yoweri Museveni has complained this exposes his country to supply disruptions and high pump prices.

In response, Uganda announced in November it would hand over exclusive rights for supply of all petroleum products to a unit of global energy trader Vitol. Uganda imported $1.6 billion worth of petroleum products in 2022, mostly originating from the Gulf.

The government planned for imports to still arrive via Kenya, but Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa said the Kenyan government refused to grant the required licence.

"We are negotiating with the Tanzanian government. The technical teams are talking, and I will be meeting Her Excellency, the president on that," Nankabirwa said.

"We want to find a route that will keep us safe in terms of petroleum supplies."

Kenya's Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) and Tanzanian officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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