May 16 (Bloomberg) -- Uganda licensed 62 investment projects worth $806.6 million in the first quarter, amid growing interest in the East African nation’s oil industry, Uganda Investment Authority Chairman Patrick Bitature said.
The number increased from 78 projects worth $604 million that were approved a year earlier, Bitature told reporters today in Kampala, the capital. Of the total licensed in the first three months of 2012, 32 projects worth $708 million were owned by Ugandans, he said.
“The energy, oil and water sectors recorded the highest value of planned investment from four projects, followed by mining, real estate and business services,” he said, without providing further details.
Uganda is on the cusp of an oil boom with Tullow Oil Plc expected to start commercial production later this year. Output from the Ugandan fields, which hold an estimated 2.5 billion barrels of oil, is expected to reach more than 200,000 barrels of oil a day, the London-based company said in March.
Sweden was the leading source of planned foreign direct investment in the first quarter, followed by Lebanon, the U.K., Trinidad & Tobago and Pakistan, Bitature said.
Licenses issued for electricity, gas and water projects in were worth $561.9 million, while mining and quarrying was $99.9 million, according to a statement from the authority.
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