EACOP will be completed as planned, Ministry assures

THE Deputy Minister for Energy, Stephen Byabato has assured all stakeholders that the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project (EACOP) would be completed as planned, expressing the government’s satisfaction with the progress achieved so far.

Speaking during an engagement meeting with Members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy in Dodoma over the weekend, Byabato stressed that the project was environmental friendly and considers human’s rights as Project Affected Persons (PAPs) having received huge compensation including house replacement.

The engagement meeting held at the Parliament’s premises was organised by EACOP to give the legislators an overview of the project.

“We are so far impressed with the development of the project that has several economic impacts for the country’s development, since the government is collecting levies and people are getting employments,” he said.

The EACOP project team was led by its Managing Director Martin Tiffen to provide an overview of the project and address key topics such as local content, land, and environmental social components.

During the meeting, Mr Tiffen provided a comprehensive summary of the project’s journey from the agreement stage to one year of its execution.

He said that EACOP remains committed to ensuring the successful implementation of the project, and the positive reception from Members of Parliament, further reinforcing their support.

The MP’s general reaction was positive, with Bukene MP Selemani Zedi (CCM) expressing his satisfaction at the project’s progress in Sojo, Nzega in Tabora Region.

He added: “More than 400 hectares were impacted in my constituency, but all the PAPs received huge compensation and further more they were assisted with important skills on how to manage modern farming and livestock keeping to improve their livelihoods.

“They were also provided with food baskets for the period of one year to support their transitional livelihood on their way to their new locations.”

The engagement meeting marked an important milestone as it was the first time EACOP had the opportunity to meet with legislators in the Parliament premises, despite the fact that several of them had previously visited the project sites in Sojo and Chongoleani to gain firsthand insights into the scheme’s operations.

During the engagement, the MPs praised the EACOP project for its distinctiveness and its commitment to provide attractive compensation to those affected.

Among them was Special Seats MP Esther Bulaya, who pointed out that the EACOP project poses as an excellent model for future schemes to follow in terms of compensation.

The engagement meeting with the MPs represents a significant step forward for the EACOP project, fostering transparency, collaboration, and constructive dialogue with key stakeholders.

EACOP has been licensed to construct the 1443km crude oil export infrastructure that will transport Uganda’s crude oil from Kabaale – Hoima in Uganda to the Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga in Tanzania for export to the international market.

In Uganda, 203 of the 2,648 PAPs are physically displaced, and of these, 178 have opted for replacement housing as in-kind compensation instead of monetary compensation.  The first batch of these houses was also handed over in February 2023.

Recently, the Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (PURA) and EACOP Ltd – Tanzanian side  vowed to enhance local content development, particularly in the area of capacity building.

Speaking at the meeting, Acting Head of Local Content and Stakeholders Engagement from PURA, Mr Ebeneza Mollel explained that, as one of its strategies to enhance local participation in petroleum upstream operations, PURA has been reaching out to and engaging with various stakeholders in the industry.

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