TANGA, Tanzania. — The 3.55 billion USD, 1,443-kilometer East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) which when completed will be planet earth’s longest electrically heated crude oil pipeline and be able to transport 200,000 liters of oil per day officially began it’s journey to reality today August 5 with a foundation stone laying ceremony in the seaport city of Tanga attended by Tanzanian President John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni. The 1,445 km pipeline will start in landlocked Uganda’s western region, where crude reserves were discovered in 2006, and terminate at Tanzania’s Indian Ocean seaport of Tanga. Authorities said construction of the EACOP is expected to commence in January 2018, and is projected to take 36 months with the prospect of creating between 6,000 and 10,000 jobs.
At the historical event in Tanga, Tanzanian President John Magufuli Magufuli lauded Uganda for choosing Tanga route for the crude oil pipeline, which will also be a source of revenue for the two east African nations. He described the project as a landmark for swift development of the two countries in particular with benefits extending to all of East Africa. In Tanga region alone, John Magufuli said that more than 45,000 youth will benefit directly and indirectly with the implementation of the giant project, which upon completion is to completely change the outlook of the northerly seaport city of Tanzania.
His Ugandan counterpart President Yoweri Museveni described Tanga Port as key because of its geographical location and security. He said that the project will also make fuel cheaper hence foster aviation industry, whereby regional airlines will get cheaper jet fuel. President Yoweri Museveni further stated that the pipeline shows the importance of integrated decision-making for the two states.
Construction of the 3.55 billion USD, 1,443-kilometer East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) will be carried out by three firms, two from France and one from the United Kingdom. The Tanzanian side, the pipeline will pass into 8 regions namely Kagera, Geita Shinyanga, Tabora, Singida, Dodoma, Manyara and Tanga. It will also cover 24 districts and 184 villages. Construction of the three-year project will commence next January, according to Medard Kalemani, Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals.
According to feasibility studies, the Tanga route was deemed the cheapest for Uganda to transport its oil from the production point in Hoima to the international market. Tanga route has convenient flat terrain, not interrupted by other activities, has lowest environmental challenges, and provides the shortest schedule for Uganda to see the first oil exports around mid 2020.
Uganda estimates overall crude reserves at 6.5 billion barrels, while recoverable reserves are seen at between 1.4 billion and 1.7 billion barrels. Uganda in April 2016 pulled out of the initial plan to jointly build the pipeline with Kenya from Hoima oilfields to proposed Lamu port via oil-rich Lokichar Basin at an estimated cost of $5 billion (about Sh516.55 billion).
Kenya decided to continue with plans to build a crude oil pipeline from oilfields in south Turkana to Lamu at an estimated cost of $2.1 billion (about Sh216.95 billion).