Home to the Kaiso-Tonya oil fields and Uganda Oil Refinery, Hoima District is key to developing Uganda’s petroleum industry, but with the nearest international airport 200 kilometers away, access to the region is limited.
UKEF & Standard Charter Bank entered a joint venture with SBI Holdings International AG through its subsidiary, SBC (Uganda) Ltd, to construct a new international airport in Hoima, Uganda. In partnership with Colas, UK, SBI managed every aspect of the project—from planning and financing to design and construction.
The project’s scope included:
● Construction of a cargo terminal with passenger processing facilities
● Construction and implementation of an airplane runway
● Installation of roads, parking, and fencing
● Supplying electricity, water, and a sewage system
● Providing markings and signage
● Installation of meteorological equipment and traffic control towers
● Installation of airfield ground lighting
With a projected completion date of 2023, the new Hoima International Airport will contribute to the sustainable growth of Uganda’s oil industry and support economic development in Haimo and the surrounding communities.
Challenge: Limited access and sensitive land
Previously farmland, the site for the new airport was in a remote region covered with brush and wetlands, with the nearest port 1700 kilometers away. Additionally, Hoima is a sensitive natural area close to multiple World Heritage Parks.
SBI’s Solution: Quality Airport Building
Taking the area’s environmental sensitivity and remote location into account, SBI developed a custom strategy for building the new airport. Our plan included specialized materials, equipment, and strategies that would allow for successful, cost-effective building without posing a threat to the surrounding farmlands and parks.
Before beginning construction, we cleared brush, stripped topsoil, and filled and drained swamps. We used a dedicated on-site stone quarry to minimize transporting materials, and followed a comprehensive environmental management plan to conserve water, minimize noise and air pollution, and protect the region’s biodiversity.
SBI started construction of the Hoima International Airport in April 2018. Throughout the project, we employed high-quality materials and our own advanced machinery (to prevent any procurement delays), along with SBI’s unparalleled engineering, construction, and project management expertise.
SBI’s scope of work included:
● Constructing airport buildings
● Laying runways, taxiways, and apron pavements
● Installing water and sewage systems
● Providing lighting, navigational aids, and control towers
● Supplying power lines, a substation, and back-up generators
Corporate Social Responsibility
As part of SBI’s commitment to social responsibility (CSR)—and in compliance with Ugandan law—we created a Community Development Agreement to give back to the host communities and minimize the project’s environmental impact. Our CSR initiatives included:
● Drilling four water boreholes for nearby communities
● First aid and emergency response management training in Kigaaga, Nyamasoga and Kyapaloni Primary Schools
● Construction of school and public restrooms for nearby communities
● Donations of beds and bedding to the Kabaale and Buseruka Health Centres
● Renovation of the Kigaga Primary School
● Donations of seedlings to community farmers
● Sponsored chess training program for all nearby schools
Results: A modern airport to support growth
The Hoima International Airport will be Uganda’s second international airport, and, once completed in 2023, will support construction and operation of the Uganda Oil Refinery and stimulate the region’s agriculture and tourism industries.
The project has a 5-year timeline and will have created over 900 direct and indirect jobs in the area. While the airport will yield immediate economic and social benefits, we’re also excited about the long-term opportunities our work in Hoima will generate for Uganda.