Bolloré wins logistics contract for pipeline

The East African Crude Oil Pipelines is a major part of Uganda’s oil production journey, whose first oil is expected in 2025. PHOTO | PAUL MURUNGI

What you need to know:

  • Bolloré, under the contract,  will undertake and ensure efficient logistics operations of project materials from global locations to the main project discharge.

Bolloré Logistics has been awarded a contract for the Main Logistics Contractor Services for construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).  

The contract is awarded to an association of the company’s entities in Europe, Uganda and Tanzania.  

The logistics firm is expected to undertake and ensure efficient logistics operations of project materials from global locations to the main project discharge port in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Thereafter, the project materials will be transported to multiple worksite locations in Tanzania and Uganda. 

The logistics provider in a statement said, the Main Logistics Contractor Services contract scope will also include end-to-end receiving, storage, handling and transportation of hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of cargo, including more than 80,000 joints of 18 metre line-pipe, multiple heavy-lift operations and significant break-bulk and containerised cargo transportation. 

“The international delivery cycle will utilise a series of charter-vessels, as well as existing global shipping. The steel pipe will be imported into Tanzania and transported to a coating plant in Nzega district, where it will receive a thermal insulation coating,” the statement reads in part. 

The Main Logistics Contractor Services contract also includes the provision of purpose designed 18 metre trailers to deliver the line-pipe to multiple locations within Tanzania and Uganda.  

It is expected that the transportation of the entire project cargo within the two East African countries will exceed 30 million truck- kilometres, which shall be conducted under the strictest health, safety and environmental standards. 

The contract is a joint venture with EALS Limited, an entity registered in Tanzania that will support contractor association to ensure meaningful local content opportunities for Ugandan and Tanzanian companies.  The EALS Limited shareholders include Super-Star Forwarders, a major Tanzanian logistics provider and Bolloré Transport and Logistics Tanzania. 

Bolloré intends to use the EALS structure and the existing Bolloré Transport and Logistics structure to maximise opportunities for Tanzanian and Ugandan subcontracting, employment and training at what the company described as, “the highest international standards”. 

In the statement Bolloré also noted that Main Logistics Contractor Services operations will be provided by the contractor associated companies, emphasising quality, health, safety and environmental management systems, ethical compliance policies, commitment to national and local content objectives, advanced track and trace and control tower systems. 

“We are committed to ensuring a cohesive and systematic approach which will contribute actively to the success of the EACOP project.” 

EACOP project already certified         

Uganda has already granted environmental approval for a $3.5b pipeline even as international and some local environmental groups such as Africa Institute for Energy Governance and Global Witness have previously indicated it poses unacceptable risks. 

In 2020 National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) said it had issued a certificate of approval for the environmental and social impact assessment report submitted by Total.

The 1,445 km (900 mile) pipeline, which will run to Tanga port in Tanzania, is key to Uganda’s start of commercial oil production.

Uganda discovered oil in the Albertine Graben region in 2006 but production has been repeatedly delayed by disagreements with foreign oil companies over taxes and development strategy.

Geologists estimate oil  reserves to be about 6 billion barrels.

Government has indicated commercial production will start at the earliest in 2025.

Tanzania had already given its approval, which meant that Ugandan stamp of approval was a go ahead to the project. 

In February, government and joint venture partners signed the Final Investment Decision for Uganda’s oil, which has as a result seen a number of activities in the sector. 

The EACOP is one of the major projects in the oil sector.  

About EACOP project         

The EACOP project consists of a 1,443 kilometre buried pipeline that will transport Uganda’s crude oil from Kabaale in Uganda to the Chongoleani peninsula on the Tanzanian coast. 

The project will include the world’s longest electrically heated pipeline, which will be thermally insulated throughout the entire route. 

Above-ground pumping stations and pressure reduction stations will control the safe flow of oil within the pipeline. 

The EACOP project will transport approximately 216,000 barrels of oil per day from Uganda’s reserves at the Albertine Graben (Lake Albert) to a Marine Storage & Terminal and a Load Out Facility, near to Tanga Port in Tanzania, where the crude oil will be exported worldwide by ocean-going tankers. 

The EACOP shareholders are TotalEnergies, Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Uganda National Oil Company Company Limited and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation.