East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Ltd managing director has hailed Uganda for what he described as expeditious approval and issuance of the $3.5 billion pipeline set to carry crude oil from the country.
Speaking at the handover ceremony witnessed by President Museveni while attending the Kingfisher drilling inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, Mr Martin Tiffen, said, “This marks another step forward for EACOP as it allows the commencement of our construction activities in Uganda upon completion of the ongoing land access process. We are grateful to the government of Uganda for the expedited delivery of the application as per the commitment in the Host Government Agreement (HGA) and the continuous support for implementation of the EACOP project.”
The license to construct EACOP was handed over by the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, (MEMD), Ms Ruth Nankabirwa, at the Kingfisher Oil Fields, at Buhuka, Kyangwali, Kikuube District.
The license was granted by the ministry following the application submitted on July 1, 2022, in compliance and accordance with Section 10 of the Petroleum (Refining, Conversion, Transmission, and Midstream Storage) Act 2013, Regulation 59 of the Petroleum (Refining, Conversion, Transmission, and Midstream Storage) Act 2016, and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Special Provisions Act 2021 and found satisfactory.
The construction license is required to enable EACOP to formally start on the ground construction activities in Uganda as part of the development of the 1,443km, 24-inch diameter insulated and buried crude oil pipeline that will start from Kabaale, Hoima in Uganda to Chongoleani, Tanga in Tanzania.
The licensed upstream oil companies are leading the development of the pipeline in Uganda and they include: Total Energies (62% shares), CNOOC Uganda (8%), Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) [15%), and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) [15%].
The 1,443-kilometre (900-mile) pipeline will transport crude from oilfields being developed in Lake Albert in northwestern Uganda to a Tanzanian port on the Indian Ocean.
Uganda's first oil is expected to flow in 2025 -- almost two decades after the reserves were discovered.
President Museveni has in the past hailed the project as a major economic boost for Uganda where many live in poverty.
Meanwhile, Uganda will host the 10th East African petroleum conference between May 9 and 11 this year to showcase East Africa as a "hotspot for hydrocarbon discoveries.
The government is also undertaking studies to open other areas in the country for petroleum exploration, he added.