Home Jobs in Uganda - August 2020 Jobs for expats in Uganda Oil refinery expert – Natural Resource Governance institute

Oil refinery expert – Natural Resource Governance institute


The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) seeks to hire an expert on oil refineries to support analysis of plans for an oil refinery in Uganda. The expert’s role will involve both conducting an initial analysis of Uganda’s refinery plans and supporting the development of NRGI’s general approach to ex-ante analysis of refinery viability and impacts.

1. About NRGI

Countries that are rich in oil, gas, and minerals face a critical development challenge. When used well, these resources can create greater prosperity for current and future generations; used poorly, or squandered, they can cause economic instability, social conflict, and lasting environmental damage. NRGI is a non-governmental organization dedicated to helping citizens benefit from their countries’ endowments of oil, gas, and minerals. For more information about NRGI, please refer to this short introduction and our 2020-2025 Strategy.

2. Background to consultancy

The NRGI 2020-25 strategy identifies economic linkages as a key area of work. This reflects a shift of the discourse on “getting a good deal” beyond the export and taxation of resources to other approaches to linking the extractives sector to the wider economy. As part of the initial implementation of the strategy, NRGI is conducting analyses in several of its program countries of government plans to establish linkages. The analyses aim to both contribute to the debates in these countries and provide a mechanism for NRGI to build up its expertise on this policy issue.

One of these analyses will be on Uganda’s planned oil refinery. The government is planning for it be developed alongside the prospective Lake Albert Project, which, if developed, will be Uganda’s first oil project. The refinery will form part of the Kabaale Industrial Park. Currently estimated to cost USD 3-4 billion, it is expected to have an initial capacity of 30,000 barrels per day (bpd), which may increase to 60,000 bpd. This initial capacity represents around 12 percent of expected oil production, with the remainder being exported through a pipeline via Tanzania. International Monetary Fund modelling in 2015 suggested a refinery of this size should be viable and quite profitable under certain conditions, while the government has highlighted savings on oil imports and improved energy security. However, these benefits are not guaranteed, with loss-making refineries elsewhere on the continent and the world shifting away from oil. Further assessment may therefore be useful.

3. Scope and methodology

The consultant will be responsible for both conducting an initial analysis of Uganda’s refinery plans and supporting the development of NRGI’s general approach to ex-ante analysis of refineries. To do this, the consultant will:

  1. Conduct an assessment of the potential viability,  positive and negative impacts and challenges of the planned Uganda refinery. This assessment will be in the form of an internal briefing, and will:
    1. Be largely qualitative. It will set out the factors that need to be considered in any refinery analysis—such as type of crude feedstock, refinery scale and complexity, features of target market, pricing mechanisms and global market outlook—and how these factors might differ between refineries and contexts.
    2. Include initial excel-based modeling of the refinery. The amount of modeling conducted will be agreed between NRGI and the consultant at the start of the assessment.
    3. Identify and explain additional steps required for a more in-depth analysis, such as further project or macroeconomic modeling and the data it would need.


  1. Provide NRGI a short seminar on the assessment. This will include a walkthrough of both the initial modeling conducted and any additional modeling that would be required for a more in-depth analysis.

NRGI expects to use the internal briefing to conduct further analysis of the Uganda refinery. Therefore, after the briefing has been produced, NRGI would expect the consultant to be available as a source of expertise for any subsequent questions and reviewing any outputs NRGI produces related to this policy issue (for a specified period of time).

Expected Deliverables

NRGI requires the consultant to provide the following deliverables:

  • An internal briefing of up to 20 pages that covers the three components set out in the Scope and Methodology, which will be reviewed by NRGI and a peer reviewer.
  • Any modeling that has informed the internal briefing.
  • A short seminar on the assessment. The approach and length of this seminar will be agreed between NRGI and the consultant, but it will be no more than half a day.
  • Responses to any subsequent questions from NRGI related to refinery analysis. These responses could be written or verbal depending on the agreed approach between NRGI and the consultant.
  • Review of any related outputs that NRGI produces following the consultant’s report.


  • Submission of expression of interest: 14 August 2020
  • Commissioning: 28 August 2020
  • Submission of internal briefing and modeling: 25 September 2020
  • Delivery of seminar: 7 October 2020
  • Responses to follow up questions and review of NRGI outputs: on a rolling basis until 31 January 2021

Consultant attributes

NRGI is looking for a consultant with the following:

  • Significant expertise on oil refineries and ex-ante analysis of them.
  • Understanding of trends in global oil and energy markets, including of the potential impacts of global energy transition on refinery economics.
  • Ability to produce clear, concise qualitative and quantitative analysis.
  • Conversant with, and has access to, excel-based models of refinery projects.

Application process

Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis and applications will close on 14 August 2020. Short-listed applicants will be invited to have a call with the NRGI team working on this analysis. Applicants will then be requested to submit a proposal, including their expected daily rate. Payment will be made for days worked in two instalments: after satisfactory completion of deliverables 1-3, and by 31 January 2021.

For more information about this consultancy position, please email Thomas Scurfield: tscurfield@resourcegovernance.org



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