Construction of the airport began on April 18 2018. It should have been completed by April, 2022 but the contractor was granted a 10-month extension by the Ministry of Works and Transport. According to the revised plan, completion has been scheduled for February 17, 2023.
Construction of the Hoima-based Kabaale International
Airport will be completed 16 months from now.
The contractors SBC and Uganda Refinery Holding
Company Uganda National Oil Company say slightly above 30 per cent of the work is
yet to be done.
The Uganda Refinery
Holding Company is part of the business arms of Uganda National Oil Company
that is spearheading the airport construction.
Construction of the airport began on April 18, 2018.
It should have been completed by April 2022 but the contractor was granted
a ten-month extension by the Ministry of Works and Transport. According to the
revised plan, completion has been scheduled for 17th February 2023.
The General Manager, Uganda Refinery Holding
Company, Dr Michael Nkambo Mugerwa said
despite some emerging challenges, the project will be delivered on time.
The airport is part of the crucial infrastructure
needed for Uganda to begin extracting its vast oil resources. It is expected to
airlift some of the cargo for construction of the crude oil refinery as part of
the Kabaale Industrial park.
So far, the airport has been designed to handle the Boeing
747 and the Antenove 124- the largest cargo plane on the planet. The airport Kabaale airport will have a 3.5-kilometre runway while the one at Entebbe has a 3.7-kilometre runway.
“It should be able to bring in very heavy oil and
gas industrial equipment for construction. And that is one of the main purposes
of the airport initially” said Mugerwa. “Of course once we are done with construction,
it is going to support the industrial park, agriculture and general
development of this part of the country,” he said
So far, 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil has been
discovered in the Albertine Graben, out of which, 1.4 billion barrels are
projected to be recoverable.
The refinery will process 60,000 barrels of Uganda’s
medium sweet crude oil per par day. Construction of the airport was originally
estimated to cost 19 million dollars to cover initially.
Change of Air Control Tower
Further works at the airport are
likely to be affected by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) directive
to have aspects of the airport changed. Dr Mugerwa revealed that ICAO has urged
against the use of a mobile control tower at the facility.
“In the original contract was a
mobile control tower but the need has been realized that the International Civil
Aviation Organisation-(ICAO) wants a fixed one to enable this airport to be operational. So there is a change inside
the original scope of the project” said Mugerwa
//Cue in; “In the Original
Cue Out...scope of the project.”//
He did not explain why ICAO wants a
fixed control tower instead of a mobile one. Air Control towers are
instrumental in ensuring the
safety of aircraft, pilots, flight attendants, and airline passengers. They
to provide for a safe, orderly, and
expeditious flow of traffic on and in the vicinity of an airport.
the air control tower, the airport requires a constant electricity supply using
an underground voltage power supply. Mugerwa
said negotiation with Uganda Electricity Transmission Company are ongoing to
have a high voltage power station to serve the airport and the industrial park
“That will be rated at 240 megawatts. That
will be one of the largest in this country. I think Kampala has something like
that at Queensway. Otherwise, that is the power need we will need for this
industrial park.” Said Mugerwa
government has so far extended high-voltage power from Kasese through Fort Portal
to Kabaale in Hoima.
The airport and the industrial park is located fifty meters
away from the Nkenda line running along the Kaiso-Tonya highway.
“So UECTL will provide an underground line to
connect to this high voltage station. underground because of the airport. So it
will be the longest underground high voltage cable. The longest we have now is
on Queen's Way. But this will be longer and
it is quite expensive” further explained Michael Mugerwa
some of the upstream oil and gas projects are expected to produce power which
will be converted to high voltage and fed into the national grid. But an
engineer at UECTL who asked for anonymity told URN that after some time, the
national grid will have to supply power to the industrial park.
Pending Critical Issues At The
construction is being undertaken by SBC(Uganda), a Joint venture of SB
international Holdings And Colas UK. SBC manager at the project, Anurag
Kalva said some of the pending issues include; civil aviation Authority housing
arrangement whose designs are yet to be finalized for approval by NEMA.
He said an
additional budget for the construction of works is needed.
In; “from the contractor point of view...
The budget requirement
has to be drawn by the ministry of works to UKEF and Standard Chartered bank a supplementary
budget for loan agreement and additional funding.
project is 85 per cent financed by UK Export Finance (UKEF) and 15 per cent by Commercial
Source of Standard Chartered Bank. So far, over EUR 309,00,000 (1.2 trillion Shillings) has been disbursed