Eversheds wins role on Uganda's $2.5bn oil refinery project

Eversheds has scored the lead role advising the Ugandan government on securing a lead investor for the country’s first oil refinery, estimated to be worth $2.5bn (£1.6bn).

The government is seeking an investor or consortium to take a 60% stake in the facility, which is intended to improve energy security in Uganda and East Africa and proposed to have a capacity of 60,000 barrels per day.

Eversheds’ team is led by financial institutions partner Howard Barrie and of counsel Ramu Ramaswamy. The firm is the sole international legal adviser at this stage of the project.

The firm is working alongside local counsel Katende Ssempebwa & Co as well as US-based financial adviser Taylor deJongh.

Barrie said: “This is a landmark strategy the Government of Uganda to harness its petroleum resources and enter the market for refined petroleum products.

“Appointing the lead investor and operator is an important milestone for the project and we are working closely with the ministry of energy and mineral development to seek to ensure a successful partnership with the right bidder.”

The news comes weeks after Eversheds outlined a new Africa-focused strategy, which includes plans to open offices in Tunisia Morocco, Ghana and Kenya in coming months, as well as a proposed move back to South Africa.

The firm is also creating an organisation designed to allow participating law firms to access training and knowledge sharing programmes while promoting commercial opportunities. So far firms in 14 countries have signed up to the venture.