EACOP: Tanzania reaps dividends

TANZANIA: TANZANIA is already benefitting from the 4 billion US dollars for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project (EACOP), according to Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, Chairman of the Board of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).

Speaking during a visit by the Parliamentary Public Investment Committee (PIC), chaired by Kwela Constituency Member of Parliament, Deus Sangu, Ambassador Sefue said that with the project execution has reached 27 per cent in implementation, with it an array of tangible benefits in the country’s participation.

Amb Sefue cited some of the benefits, as 2.4tri/- to be gained from the project, as well as the employment of 4,968 Tanzanians since the project’s inception in 2021, adding that it stimulating economic growth in regions it covers.

He noted that the project has recruited 385 local individuals in Tanga Region out of 539 at the terminal’s construction site.

“Likewise, the oil tank construction contractor has by now paid service charges amounting to 53.15m/- to Tanga City Council,” said Amb Sefue.

Amb Sefue also mentioned other benefits as including numerous service providers benefiting from 171.71 million US dollars given to internal contractors, with a total of 462 million US dollars set aside for the purchase of various services and products.

On the project’s implementation status, PIC Committee members also informed that several aspects of the scheme, such as the construction of camps and storage facilities for pipes, had been completed by 100 per cent.

“Construction of a Thermal Insulation System (TIS) Plant has reached 61 per cent, and it is ready for trials,” he said, adding that pipes capable of being laid for 280 kilometres have arrived at the TIS factory, ready to be installed with a thermal storage system before pipe laying work begins in May of this year.

The tanks destined for the Chongoleani oil receipt and storage facility (MST) are in the construction phase, with 32 per cent of the work completed, while the oil loading pier is 36 per cent complete.

Amb Sefue commended the project as a true Public-Private Partnership (PPP) not just in Tanzania but also in Uganda, stating that they demonstrate how diplomacy can move processes forward.

The TPDC Director General, Musa Makame, stated that the government, through the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has already earned 30bn/- from the project and other service providers and expects to collect more as construction progresses to completion.

On his part, the Committee Chairman Deus Sangu expressed satisfaction that Tanzania has begun to reap the benefits of the project, which faced significant international resistance. He expressed satisfaction that Tanzania, through TPDC, as a shareholder, continues to work with other shareholders to ensure that the project meets its objectives.

He said that he had been informed that up to March 15, this year, TPDC had contributed a total of 268.78 million US dollars, which is 87 per cent of the 308 million US dollars that Tanzania was scheduled to contribute as capital. Private investors are implementing the project in partnership with the Tanzanian and Ugandan governments.

TPDC and the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) own 15 per cent each, TotalEnergies of France owns 62 per cent, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) owns 8 per cent The Chairman of Chongoleani Village, Ambari Mabruki Hoza congratulated the government for establishing the project, noting that it is already bringing them rewards.

However, he urged the EACOP to look into how to empower the people with modern fishing equipment and animal husbandry that would improve their lives.

Equally, Kassim Mbega, a Chongoleani Ward Councillor, has encouraged the government or the project to think about building a health centre for the benefit of the community and project workers.

He explained that it is sad that since the beginning of the project, the relevant authorities have not considered broadening the health service, which is today facing a substantial growth in the population.

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