Our Energy and Natural Resources practice is headed by Hon. Dr. Elly Karuhanga, who has been chairman of the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum from its inception in 2010 to date a non-governmental umbrella body representing all aspects of Uganda’s mining and petroleum industry. He also served as President of Tullow Uganda operations Pty Limited from 2007 to 2012. Elly is assisted by partners: Elison Karuhanga and Bruce Musinguzi; a Consultant, Kristina Kasibayo; a Senior Associate Catherine Nansubuga; associates Miranda Kabatsi and Rayner Mugyezi and legal assistants Martha Mutamba and David Bahige.
Our firm has acted as legal adviser to various clients on renewable energy projects and outlined below is a summary of our recent projects:
- Arpe Limited on the Agago- Achwa hydro power project of 83MW: – This project was licensed by the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) KAA is currently acting for the developer during project implementation.
- Mota Engil Africa: – The firm, together with Simmons and Simmons has advised has advised Mota Engil Africa on its plans to build a 392 MW Hydo Power plant at Ariang.
- Muvumbe Hydro Limited: This is owned by Vidullanka Plc Muvumbe Hydro Power Project, of 6.5MW. This project was licensed by the Electricity Regulatory Authority and also qualified for the Global Energy transfer Feed-in-Tariff Program (GET FiT program).
- R & I Hydro Power Limited: – KAA advised on the construction of a 10MW dam in Uganda.
- Hemas Power Limited: – KAA advised on the Butama hydro power project of 5MW.
- Berkerly Energy Fund: KAA advised this client on the Achwa HPP3 project of 9.9MW, 7.6 MW and 5 MW.
- Absolute Energy: – KAA is currently advising this client on the implementation of power projects in various off grid areas in Uganda.
a)Petroleum (Oil and Gas)
As soon as Uganda struck oil in 2006, KAA was one the first law firm in Uganda that was retained to advise Hardman Petroleum Pty Limited and subsequently Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Limited and or Tullow Uganda Limited on various matters such as but not limited to petroleum operations, commercial, legal, human resources and tax matters.
The Key Highlights of KAA’s work advising international oil companies in Uganda in the upstream sector are outlined below:
- KAA advised Tullow Oil Plc (Tullow) regarding a tax dispute of USD$ 313 that Tullow paid to Government of Uganda on behalf of Heritage Oil and Gas(Heritage) in lieu of Heritage’s unpaid capital gains tax following its US$1.45 Billion Farm-down in 2010. on Heritage in lieu. KAA also advised Tullow on its tax liability following its farm-down worth US$ 3.9 Billion farm down to Total E&P Uganda (Total) and CNOOC Uganda Limited (CNOOC);
- KAA was retained as a legal advisor for Tullow during the negotiations of its first Production Sharing Agreement with Government of Uganda;
- We recently advised an upstream operator on Government’s proposed back-in to a joint operating agreement for the Tilenga Development Project;
- The firm participated in the first competitive licensing round in Uganda where we advised one of the successful bidders Oranto Petroleum. We also helped negotiate Oranto’s Production Sharing Agreement with Government. To date, KAA has been retained as the local principal legal advisor for Oranto’s petroleum operations in Uganda;
- We have advised upstream operators on matters related to land access and compensation from the exploration to development phase within the Albertine Graben;
- The firm also acts company secretary for the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum;
- We have conducted a number of training sessions on legal matters pertaining to the Ugandan upstream sector with Total and CNOOC as well as with the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum;
- KAA is also dedicated to supporting the Government of Uganda’s national content agenda in the petroleum sector and as such has partnered with the Stanbic Business Incubator and facilitated training to members (local Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)) on various legal aspects of the petroleum sector on a pro bono basis. This initiative has supported, prepared local SMEs to up skill in the sector and as such put them in a better position to participate as local service providers.
Other Petroleum Companies or Service Providers
- The Firm has also advised a number of service companies on the conduct of their operations Such as GCC Services which is one of the largest man power service companies that KAA assisted set up in Uganda in 2011 and continues to advise provide day to day legal advice;
- Together with Simmons and Simmons advised Sodexo on the set up of its Uganda operations;
- Together with the corporate advisory department we advised Kobil the largest downstream player in East Africa on the acquisition of 19 petrol stations;
- The firm is currently advising Infra Consulting Services and Uganda National Roads Authority on the implementation of the Resettlement Action Plan for the Kampala fly over construction and road upgrading project. This a project funded by the World Bank and estimated to cost US$147million which entails the construction of two fly-overs over the greater Kampala and widening and improvement of interfacing roads and junctions;
- The firm advised, alongside Dentons UK, French Oil Company Total OutreMer on the acquisition of GAPCO Uganda Limited from Reliance Exploration & Production DMCC and Reliance Industries (Middle East) DMCC. The services provided included an extensive due diligence on the target company including review of documents in a data room and conducting searches at public registries.
- The Firm has advised Mota Engil Africa on the acquisition of a quarry under World Bank Guidelines for the construction of the Tororo Kamdini road.
- We advised Sunbelt Limited on its acquisition of marble plant in Uganda.
- KAA negotiated an amicable surrender of the license from Hima Cement Limited and advised on the acquisition of an exploration licence; resettlement of project affected persons and is currently advising on obtaining a mining lease.