Milestone as EACOP inaugurates insulation plant

TABORA: THE East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) has achieved another key milestone on the construction stage, following the inauguration of Thermal Insulation Plant (TIS plant).

The TIS Plant was constructed and operated by one of EACOP Ltd Level One Contractors, WASCOISOAF which is a joint venture of local and foreign companies.

The TIS plant receives all line pipes to be used in Tanzania and Uganda and will apply thermal insulation to all 86,000-line pipe joints prior to their dispatch and installation along the route from Uganda to Tanzania.

The purpose of the insulation is similar to a thermos flask it retains the warmth of the fluid inside the pipe whilst simultaneously keeping the external environment cool.

Speaking during the inauguration ceremony held in Sojo Village, Nzega District, Tabora Region, Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Doto Biteko, who is also the Minister for Energy said that the implementation of the EACOP project has reached 27 per cent due to effective management of President Samia Suluhu Hassan and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

He said that the leaders have been ensuring the project is completed on time with international standards. Dr Biteko said President Samia has fully managed the project since she received it in 2021 by ensuring that the government carries out its duties properly including timely provision of funds for its execution.

“To date the government has disbursed a total of 710 bn/- out of 820 bn/-, equivalent to 87 per cent as its contribution as a shareholder in the EACOP project,” Dr Biteko said.

He said that the implementation of the project is progressing well, including the issue of land acquisition where payment has been made by 99.2 per cent, adding that the construction of large oil storage tanks in Chongoleani Tanga has reached 32 per cent and the oil loading pier has reached 36 per cent.

However, Dr Biteko called on EACOP Ltd to ensure that it gives more priority to Tanzanians in various opportunities, warning foreign companies that are taking advantage of Tanzanians by pretending to be local companies where they have been perpetrating fraud in collaboration with some Tanzanians.

The country is already benefiting from the project through the employment of 4,968 Tanzanians since the project inception in 2021 and the project has recruited 385 local individuals in Tanga Region out of 539 at the terminal’s construction site.

Moreover, Dr Biteko said that the government of Tanzania and Uganda are in discussions to implement another large project of a gas pipeline from Tanzania to Uganda as instructions of the countries’ Heads, adding that the Ministry of Energy will effectively manage it.

Concurrent with the inauguration event was the official signing of land lease agreements for Marine storage and Terminal Area between EACOP and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).

Other agreements include Marine user rights between EACOP and Tanga Port and Marine Facility Agreement between Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and EACOP.

This follows completion of land acquisition and compensation process. The land leases and the production of thermally insulated pipe are two key precursors for construction activities starting along the right of way.

Following a ramp-up period, the workshop will boast an impressive production capacity of 110-117 kilometres of insulated line pipe per month.

Production is slated to commence immediately and continue into 2025. The establishment of this Plant not only signifies technological advancement but also creates numerous employment opportunities within the region.

For her side, Ugandan Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankwabira said that inauguration of the Thermal Insulation Workshop signifies a significant milestone in the countries collective efforts to strengthen energy infrastructure.

“This initiative underscores our commitment to enhancing energy security and promoting regional cooperation,” Ms Ruth said.

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Stephen Byabato said that the EACOP project was faced with challenges in various stages of its implementation, but President Samia and President Museveni pushed it to the present stage.

Executive Director of the EACOP company, Martin Tiffen said TIS plant embodies the countries’ commitment to safety, operational excellence and sustainability, combining talents from Tanzania and internationally, and creating employment and upskilling opportunities both nationally and for communities in the vicinity.”

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