The presidents of Uganda and Tanzania teed off the construction of the 1,445 km East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) with a promise that the infrastructure will boost the Foreign Direct Investment of both countries.
The Joint Venture partners; CNOOC Uganda Limited, Total E&P Uganda and Tullow Uganda are spearheading the construction of $3.5billion pipeline which will be the longest electronically heated crude export pipeline.
The venture partners said the project, which will transport crude from Hoima in western Uganda to the coastal port of Tanga in Tanzania, would open up the entire East African region to further opportunities for trade and socio – economic development.
Tanzania’s President, John Pombe Magufuli called on the Joint Venture partners to treat the construction of the pipeline with urgency. We don’t need to delay the completion of the project for almost three years. They can do it even night and day to ensure the project is completed as quickly as possible. Act with big speed and make sure you finish this project before 2020,” Magufuli said.
Uganda estimates to have oil reserves at 6.5 billion barrels, while recoverable reserves are estimated to be 1.7 billion barrels. Uganda will use the pipeline to export her crude to the world while Tanzania will use the same pipeline to export her gas to Uganda.
The pipeline will create about 10,000 to 15,000 direct jobs while temporary jobs will peak to 30,000. Hotels, food and beverages suppliers will benefit from this project.
The Joint Venture partners said they will embark on a journey of detailed planning and execution complimenting the already ongoing studies such as Environment and Social Impact Assessments and Front End Engineering Design for the EACOP project. A FEED study for the project was launched in Kampala early this year.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda said the pipeline is not just for ‘Uganda's crude oil’ but an ‘East African pipeline’. “There are already hydrocarbon resources in Eastern Congo, Turkana and possibilities in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. All these can be served by this pipeline,” he said.
He said Uganda has 6.5 billion barrels of oil so far in 40% of the potential area. He confirmed that Uganda will have a refinery to produce petrol, diesel, aviation fuel, other petro-chemicals like plastics and associated gas for electricity and composite agriculture.
“I thank Tanzania for this positive collaboration on the pipeline and ask that we do more collaborations. I look forward to HE Magufuli's visit to Uganda where he will lay a foundation stone in Hoima.” Museveni said.