U.S Investment firm, YAATRA Ventures, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based manager of investment capital with a specific expertise in Africa, signed a $2.85 billion Project Framework Agreement with the government of Uganda.
The YAATRA Ventures-led Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium, which includes General Electric’s Baker Hughes division,LionWorks Group and Saipem will develop, construct, and operate of a new oil refinery company in Uganda.
The refinery, to be located in Hoima district, will process crude oil from fields developed by Total, Tullow and China’s CNOOC and future upstream operators.
In the collaboration with US Department of Commerce’s Advocacy Center and Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Deborah R. Malac and the U.S. Commercial Service in Kenya, YAATRA Ventures, over the past seven months, secured the deal.
The project is a joint venture, with the Uganda National Oil Company, is supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Finance Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Trade Development Agency, and SACE.
“The deal represents a major win for U.S. commercial interests in Uganda. It embodies what we can achieve when government acts as a facilitator, not just a regulator,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross following his laudatory statement to YAATRA Ventures on the deal.
“The Ugandan Government’s commitment to fully realize its oil and gas sector and acceptance of the innovative solution provided by AGRC is driven by its strategic goals, leading to achieving middle income status”. Rajakumari Jandhyala, President & CEO, YAATRA Ventures, said.
“We look forward to the execution phase and delivering a world class facility that represents a unique opportunity for investors. The Project will deliver a broad, significant economic development impact for Uganda and the East Africa region”, she added
President Museveni on the deal
“Africa and the West share a lot of history together and there is a need for them to use these past linkages to further economic business,” said President Yoweri Museveni.
“There is a lot of sleeping in Africa. You find people who should know but instead don’t know,” said the President. “And also there has been sleeping in the West, they don’t care about what potential is in Africa,” he added
President Museveni said unlike China which seems to understand Africa’s potential and has been active in doing business with Africa, Western companies have been reluctant in taking up projects and investing in the continent.
“Africa is going to be a huge power house in terms of business,” said the President, who noted that African leaders and the NRM government in particular have resolved some of the obstacles to doing business like fragmented markets and confiscation of private companies by past regimes.
Museveni made the remarks at State House Entebbe as he witnessed the signing of the Project Framework Agreement between the government and the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium (AGRC).
The agreement is valued at $2.85 billion with approximately $1 billion in expected U.S. export content, supporting more than 5000 jobs in the United States and Uganda.