Ramboll was assigned an early phase study for the “Hoima-Kampala Refined Petroleum Products Pipeline” project in Uganda, East Africa comprising a 210 km (130 miles) pipeline for transport of refined oil products between Hoima refinery / terminal and Kampala distribution terminal.
Encouraging the local market
Uganda is an East-African country of 36 million people, governed by a parliamentary democracy. The country is host to multiple natural resources and recently discovered valuable reserves of oil and gas. However, considering that previously the acquisition process was based solely on import, these new findings were considered a great asset for economic recovery.
The overall goal of the products pipeline project was to support the establishment of an oil and gas industry. Ramboll was involved in the early phase of the project by conducting a utility corridor study including detailed pipeline routing, and an environmental baseline study.
The pipeline route scanned from an aircraft
Due to the sensitive nature of the green area and its swampy surfaces, Ramboll had to overcome several types of challenges, predominantly technical:
- During conceptual design phase three route options were selected based on maps. The selected route was then topographically surveyed by using a laser scanner mounted on an aircraft. Ordinary topographical survey from the ground was very difficult due to dense vegetation and river crossings. The results were used to optimise the route before performing remaining investigations.
- For a better understanding of the soil properties, resistivity measurement was performed using DUAL-EM equipment on the whole route except swamp and river crossings.
- Geotechnical investigations were made by performing lab analyses of soil from trial pits along the route. The trial pit locations were selected based on the results from the resistivity measurements.
- During December 2015, El Niño rain caused some floods preventing the project from continuation for a limited period of time.
Active stakeholder management
It was crucial to acknowledge that the green fields and rain forests were highly meaningful to the local culture. Thus, active stakeholder management in form of meetings with officials and continuous interactions with the villagers along the route was an essential part of the study. Ultimately, in order to meet the expectations of every party involved in the project, the initial length of the utility corridor and pipeline routing was extended with 10 km (6.2 miles).
Working together with Newplan
After a thorough evaluation of the proposals submitted by exclusively international companies in partnership with Ugandan companies, the Government of Uganda decided to award Ramboll the early phase investigation of the project.
Ramboll teamed up with Newplan and ran the project in parallel with “Kabaale International Airport” project intended to serve the oil and gas industry and the local communities in Western Uganda.