Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government of Uganda and its Tanzanian counterpart have today signed the East African Crude Oil Pipeline agreement that effectively signals the start of the construction of the pipeline that will transport Uganda’s oil from Hoima to the port of Tanga.
The construction of the pipeline is expected to take four years for the oil to start flowing. If complete, it will be the longest heated crude oil pipeline line in the world.
Among the agreements signed today between the officials from the government of Uganda and Tanzania and the oil companies’ CNOOC and Total are; Host Government agreement and the Tariff and Transportation agreement.
Speaking after the signing of the agreement that is over $10billion, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, said that he chose to work with Tanzania because of its historical contribution towards Uganda.
“I originally preferred an oil refinery only because of the high demand in the East African region that imports a lot to serve their markets. The oil companies were biased for crude oil exports and a pipeline. The compromise was we have both,” he said.
Museveni said Tanzania helped Uganda to sort out the political mess that had been created by past leaders.
On why he chose April 11 as the new date to sign the agreement, Museveni said it was the same day in 1979 when the Tanzanian army launched the assault on Kampala and deposed President Idi Amin.
“I thank President Suluhu for accepting my sentimental request for the signing to be held today, April 11. It is today, 42 year ago, that Lt. Col Oyite Ojok announced the Tanzania army TPDF and UNLA victory over Idi Amin,” Museveni said
For her part, Samia Hassan Suluhu, the president of United Republic Of Tanzania who assumed the presidency last month after the death of John Pombe Magufulu, the pipeline will go a long away in cementing the relationship that her country has with Uganda.
She said in the region grappling with unemployment, the pipeline will create a number of jobs especially for the young people.
“I encourage all countries in the region to continue building infrastructure and projects that will spur development,” Suluhu said.
Suluhu also thanked Uganda for agreeing to postpone the signing of the agreement from the original date of March 22 to today in honor of Magufuli who she talked about as having been very enthusiastic about the project.
“This kind of gesture portrays a true definition of partnership. Postponing this event was the honor of his commitment…,” Suluhu said.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fran Oil Giant Total , Patrick Pouyanne, thanked President Museveni for his unwavering commitment to the oil project.
He said signing the agreement is a historical milestone in the journey of the oil industry not only for Uganda and Tanzania and for the whole of the East African region.
“It’s a very large project one of the largest to be developed on this content. Its more than $10billion dollars. It hasn’t been possible without your commitment. This is the beginning of the journey that will take four years for the oil to start flowing from Uganda to Tanzania,” Pouyanne said.
At Entebbe on Sunday, the two countries concluded the Tariff and Transportation Agreement (TTA) and the Host Government Agreement for the Republic of Uganda.
With the Shareholding Agreement (SHA) for Shareholders to the EACOP Company also concluded, the EACOP Project can now be launched, and award of the main Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contracts (EPC) can start.
Tanzania on their part also agreed to finalise the signing of the Host Government Agreement and related agreements between the Government and EACOP Company.