The long wait for Uganda’s Final Investment Decision for oil and gas could come to an end this Sunday, following talks between government officials and industry leaders from Uganda and Tanzania.
According to sources, the meeting at Entebbe State House will see the Final Investment Decision signed and will mark the start of the construction of the crude oil pipeline.
The event for signing the oil pipeline deal was scheduled for March 22, 2021 but was rescheduled following the death of then-President, John Pombe Magufuli, five days earlier on March ,17.
Sunday’s visit will be Suluhu’s first trip outside Tanzania since becoming president.
The East African Crude Oil Pipeline is a 1,445-kilometer-long pipeline from the oil wells in western Uganda in Hoima district to Tanzania’s seaport of Tanga.
The pipeline will cover 296km in Uganda passing through Hoima, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba, Kyotera, Lwengo, Ssembabule, Rakai and Kikuube and 1443km in Tanzania through the regions of Kagera, Gieta, Shinyanga, Tabora, Singida, Dodoma, Manyara and Tanga.
By signing the Final Investment Decision, construction of the 1,445-kilometer-long pipeline will then kick-off, having been delayed by the Covid pandemic.
The $3.5 billion oil pipeline project is the longest electrically heated pipeline in the world and it is heated because Uganda’s oil is waxy.
Uganda has about 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil discovered in the Albertine Graben on the border between Uganda and DR Congo at the Kingfisher and Tilenga fields.
The two oil fields are operated by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Total S.A.
The pipeline project is being implemented by a joint venture of CNOOC and Total; Uganda government through the Uganda National Oil Company and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation.
The project is expected to create jobs, help in technology transfer, creation of new infrastructure and enhance trade between Uganda and Tanzania and the East African region at large.
President Museveni last year said proceeds from the oil will be used to further develop the country’s other important sectors like infrastructure, education and health.
“Our oil will be used to develop our infrastructure, and ICT to enhance durable capacity of our country. I am glad that Total and other companies licenced in the country are taking bold steps to quickly commence the production of petroleum,” Museveni said during the signing of the Host Government Agreement (HGA) pipeline with Total in September last year.
Museveni reassured the exploration company of government’s support during their work.
“It has taken long, but it was a deliberate move, I can assure you Ugandans,” said the President, adding that Uganda is a rich country with oil as a small fraction of this natural wealth.
He pointed out that other potential lies in agriculture, tourism, services, and human resource among others.