GOVERNMENT officers from Tanzania and Uganda were expected to begin a week-long meeting from yesterday this week to finalise on the joint East African Crude Oil Pipeline.
This is a 1,445km crude oil export (EACOP) pipeline expected to transport oil from Kabaale in the Hoima District of Uganda to Chongoleani in Tanga. On completion, it will become the world’s longest heated crude oil export pipeline.
The meeting will finalise how to operate, execute and supervise the project expected to cost 3.5 billion US dollars given the different laws in the two countries.
Reports indicate other pending issues are registration of companies to be involved in the project, distribution of revenue, issues related to defence and security for both countries, and citizen participation in the implementation of the project.
The project seemed to be moving at a fast pace when the governments of the two countries exchanged the inter-governmental agreement in May 2017. Thereafter the speed slowed to the extent of raising concern among stakeholders although we understand that there has been a series of technical meetings between officers of the two countries which led to significant developments in the preparation work of the project.
One such developments is the Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report for the project which was recently finalised marking a significant milestone in the impending approval of the project as it comes ahead of the Final Investment Decision which is expected to be announced towards the end of the first quarter of 2019.
We attach so much importance to the East Africa Crude Oil pipeline project as it is crucial for the further integration of the East African Community and is going to set precedence for joint planning, financing and implementation of landmark energy projects in the region.
This is a project that will provide enormous opportunities for international and indigenous service providers seeking to offer services and goods in the project and individuals who will benefit from the job opportunities that will emerge in the project. The EACOP will hire approximately 10,000 during the construction phase. This includes skilled workers, semi-skilled workers, and casual workers.
The project will also have long-term economic benefits to Tanzania and Uganda during and after construction phase in terms of infrastructure improvement, increased foreign direct investments from the 3.5 billion US dollar joint investment and attracting other investors in the oil and gas industry.