Several ministers including that of Finance Matia Kasaijja have been meeting in Buliisa district to convince locals there to accept government compensation rates for land where the Central Processing Facility CPF is to be constructed.
Ministers Irene Muloni (L) and Matia Kasaijja at the laying of East African Crude Oil Pipeline foundation stone in Buseruka Hoima
Several ministers including that of Finance Matia Kasaijja have been meeting in Buliisa district to convince locals there to accept government compensation rates for land where the Central Processing Facility (CPF) is to be constructed.
Sources in Buliisa and Kampala told URN that opinion leaders, politicians and some figures from Bunyoro Kingdom were invited for a meeting to negotiate the compensation process.
The Ministers meeting in Bulisa on Friday also included Lands Minister Betty Amongi, State Minister for Minerals Peter Lokeris, State Minister for local government, Jennifer Namuyangu. Also expected at the meeting was Security Minister, Lt. General Henry Tumukunde and one of the ministers from Works and Transport Ministry.
They were joined by a number of MPs from Buliisa and Hoima together with political leaders from the two districts.
The Government reportedly requires a 1.5km by 2km land in Buliisa District for the construction of the Central Processing facility- one of the key infrastructures for the oil and gas industry.
Central Processing facility will be required for storage, stabilisation and treatment of crude oil before being fed into the refinery or crude oil export pipeline. The planned facility is expected to process about 200,000 barrels of oil per day.
Locals in Buliisa have reportedly hiked prices for their land as they expect to cash in from the government compensation rates. Sources attending the meeting say the ministers are pressing the locals to accept eight million shillings per acre of land but the local leaders are demanding a minimum of 30 million shillings for an acre of land.
The government is racing against time to have the oil refinery, East African Crude Oil Pipeline and the Central Processing facility in place ahead of first oil expected in 2020. There are fears that compensation for the persons on whose land the facilities will be located may affect the commencement of the projects and therefore extend the 2020 deadline.
The governments of Uganda, Tanzania and the three oil firms, CNOOC, Tullow and TOTAL already commissioned the Front End Engineering Designs study for Uganda's 1450km-long crude oil pipeline.
The FEED studies as they are popularly known involve Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Land acquisition and Resettlement Planning (LARP) studies.
They are mainly centered around two oil fields in Exploration Area 1( EA1) located on the northern tip of Lake Albert in Murchison Falls National Park and Exploration Area 2(EA2) East of Lake Albert in Buliisa District.