Baz Waiswa

Baz Waiswa

East African Crude Oil Pipeline FEED Study Launched, To Cost $11.5m

Officials from Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development together with their counterparts from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals in Tanzania launched the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Kampala on Monday morning. At 1445km, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline will be world’s electronically heated crude export pipeline.

The launch took place at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. It was witnessed by officials from oil companies Total, Tullow and CNOOC and the contractor Gulf Integrated Engineering. French oil company Total will be the project lead however it will work alongside Tullow and CNOOC with whom they make the threesome joint venture partnership.

Uganda’s energy minister Irene Muloni said the study which commences now will take eight months to complete and will cost a whooping $11.5m. The study will look at a number of issues from an engineering perspective in order to come up with a pipeline worth the money.

Among the issues that will be addressed include the nature of soil, environment and water bodies among others. The two governments have assembled tens of local and international engineers to do the job. The findings of the study according to the ministers will inform them on what the final costs of the pipeline construction will be. The cost of the 1445km pipeline is currently estimated to be $3.5bn.

“We as partners agreed that we need to fast track these (oil) projects so as to achieve our goal of starting production in 2020,” Muloni said at the launch of the study in reference to the importance and urgency of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. “We need to fast track this pipeline project in order to be able to sell our oil outside Uganda.” She added.

She revealed that apart from the FEED study for the pipeline, Uganda will also be carrying out environment assessment, land compensation and other activities in order for all pipeline related activities to sync. Uganda is also working on a refinery in Hoima to add value to the country’s natural resource.

Sospeter Muhongo, the energy minister of Tanzania, was not impressed with the speed at which things in Uganda are moving. ‘We have taken a few steps towards implementation of the project but I am not happy with the speed in Uganda. This (FEED study) was supposed to be done in November last year. Let me hope the contractor will speed up work.” He said.

Banking on Tanzania expertise gained over the years of setting up similar pipelines, Muhongo said in Tanzania, Uganda has the right partner. Giving examples of the numerous multibillion pipelines Tanzania has laid down, Muhongo said: ”This should give you comfort that you are working with a country that has experience.|

Fury as Tororo Cement Goes Against all Country Laws to Abuse Environment before Destroying Wetlands with Impunity

Top managers at Tororo Cement can make one believe they track their descendants in flogs’ fraternity. This belief is prompted by the way the cement industry, which would be interested in hard grounds and environment protection, have, to the contrary, a great knack for wet-lands consumption, to the tune of total destruction.

The post Fury as Tororo Cement, one of Uganda's leading cement makers,  Goes Against all Country Laws to Abuse Environment before Destroying Wetlands with Impunity, this is according to a report that appeared first on The Investigator, an online publication.


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Jumia House, Stanbic Bank Launch Mortgage Calculator

Jumia House Uganda, a leading online platform for selling, renting and leasing property has partnered with Stanbic Bank, a leading financial services provider, to launch a mortgage tool that will help clients compute details of mortgage loans they intend to acquire.

The tool which has been called the Mortgage Calculator, and can be accessed on the Jumia House website, will provide quotations for mortgage acquisition, compute interest rates, determine repayment time and amounts with a click of your computer or mobile phone buttons to instantly give you feedback.

Shakib Nsubuga, the country manager Jumia House Uganda said the tool also provides instant communication with the bank to kickstart negotiations for the loan acquisition.  “Also, agents can help clients to check and know if they can afford the property and the loan. This helps the agents and buyers to make quick decisions,” Nsubuga explained last week at the launch of the tool at a hotel in Kampala.

Brian Mutungi Tukahirwa, the head, homes loans at Stanbic Bank, said one of the problems prohibiting the growth of mortgage loans in Uganda is lack of information. He believes that with this partnership, clients will be able to make informed decisions on how to deal with the bank.

“Regular people can now know how they can get proper information and how to process the loan. We are bridging the knowledge gap and bringing banking services closer to customers. Customers can decide how much they can borrow and develop a repayment plan because they can compute it all on the website,” Mutungi explained.

To have a mortgage approved in Uganda, you need to have a valid form of identification i.e. passport or national Identification Card, passport photo, LC1 letter for address verification, spouse or next of kin signature.

Mortgage rates in Uganda have recently experienced unplanned fluctuations that have affected borrowers. With the rates fluctuating in different financial institutions finding the right bank and mortgage rate has become challenging and risky. Banks like Stanbic Bank offer a competitive mortgage rate of 17.5%.

Jumia Travel Clients Choose Forest Cottages As Best Hotel In Uganda

Good customer services are key to the success of a hotel especially in a country like Uganda where the tourism sector is young and growing. Hotels in Uganda highly depend on both domestic and international tourists therefore their happiness with what they serve them is vital.

One hotel that has successfully impressed travelers is Forest Cottage in Naguru, Kampala. Travelers who use Jumia Travel , Africa's number one online hotel booking website, have said Forest Cottages is the best service provider in Uganda’s hotel industry. The luxurious cottages received the Traveler’s Choice Award during the Jumia Travel Awards ceremony. Jumia said, they were the traveler’s favorite.

Forest Cottages received the most rave reviews on the website and mobile App platforms according to Louis badea, Jumia Tavel Uganda country manager. Jumia Travel was awarding some of their best partners in the business. Others winners included The Kipling Lodge (Rising Star Award), The Acacia City (Best Booking Award), Hotel Kampala Serena (best business partner) and Mbale Report went home with Best Hotel Partner Award.

Some of the winners of Jumia Tavel Awards 2016

Lousi Badea explained that the winner of Travelers Choice Award was based on the number of reviews a hotel gets. He said Forest Cottages has been supportive, offered good services to customers and uses their tools effectively.

Dhaval Machhar, the General Manager of Forest Cottages, acknowledged that they are getting a lot of business from Jumia Travel. “Forest Cottages is totally unique and it’s truly a forest in the heart of the city. You can’t see a forest cottage in Kampala apart from us. Once you are you are at Forest Cottage, you can’t feel that you are in Kampala.

We have superb accommodation, conferencing facilities, bars, restaurants and a swimming pool. Forest Cottage is like a safari lodge. We receive all travelers, from corporate organizations, workers of non-government organizations and tourists.” Machhar said in an interview after winning the award.

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