Uganda Explores Shift to Tanzanian Port for Oil Imports

Afaf Fahchouch
Afaf Fahchouch
2 Min Read

In a significant move aimed at enhancing its energy security, Uganda is currently engaged in negotiations with Tanzania to reroute all of its oil imports through the port of Dar es Salaam. This potential shift marks a departure from the longstanding practice of importing oil products via Kenya’s Mombasa port.

Uganda’s Energy minister revealed the ongoing discussions, highlighting concerns over the country’s dependency on the current supply system, where Ugandan fuel companies procure the majority of their supplies through affiliated firms in Kenya. President Yoweri Museveni has expressed dissatisfaction with this arrangement, citing vulnerability to supply disruptions and high pump prices.

The decision to explore alternative import routes gained momentum after Uganda’s announcement in November to grant exclusive rights for petroleum product supply to a unit of the global energy trader Vitol. With Uganda importing approximately $1.6 billion worth of petroleum products in 2022, predominantly from the Gulf, ensuring a reliable and secure supply chain has become a top priority for the government.

Initially, Uganda had planned to continue imports via Kenya, but faced obstacles as the Kenyan government declined to issue the required license. As a result, Uganda is now turning to Tanzania as a potential alternative route.

Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa affirmed the ongoing negotiations with Tanzanian counterparts, underscoring the objective of securing a route that guarantees uninterrupted petroleum supplies for the nation.

While the Kenyan Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) and Tanzanian officials have yet to comment on the matter, Uganda’s pursuit of alternative import channels underscores its commitment to safeguarding its energy interests and ensuring a resilient supply chain for its oil products.


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