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TOTAL starts building crude processing facility in Buliisa

Museveni (left) and Suluhu at the signing of the Host Government Agreement today

Hoima, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  As the long-awaited Host Government Agreement (HGA) was being signed between Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu  and TOTAL in Dar es Salaam today, the French oil company commenced work on its Tilenga Industrial Area in Kasenyi, Buliisa District. It is here that TOTAL will build its central processing facility.

The signing of the agreement in Tanzania ends close to four years of negotiation with Uganda from the time when the initial Inter-governmental Agreement for the pipeline was signed.

The signing of the Host Government Agreement with the French energy giant Total paves the way for the construction of a 1,440-km crude oil pipeline from Uganda’s Albertine region to Tanzanian seaport city of Tanga.

Construction starts

Total has contracted Mota Engil Uganda, a subsidiary of Portugal-based construction group Mota-Engil, to handle the initial works that include bush clearing, fencing, construction of drainage and internal roads at the Industrial Area in Kasenyi village, located in Ngwedo Sub-County, Buliisa District.

The site preparation activities which include bush clearing, fencing, construction of drainage and internal roads are aimed at preparing the site for the establishment of an Industrial Area that will host the Tilenga Central Processing Facility, yards and camps. The site preparation activities are expected to be concluded by mid-2022,” TOTAL said in a statement.

This comes just over a month since the governments of Uganda and Tanzania gave the joint venture companies in the oil and gas industry in the country, the green light to proceed with the commercial development phase.     

“These are aimed at preparing the site for the establishment of an Industrial Area that will host the Tilenga Central Processing Facility, yards and camps,” says Jean-Yves Poulet, the Tilenga Project Director.   

The Tilenga Project located at the northern end of the Lake Albert basin is one of the two areas where commercial oil deposits have been discovered, the other one being the Kingfisher area southward in Kikuube District.   

At the Tilenga Central Processing Facility, crude from the various wells in the area will be collected and processed before it is piped to the bigger Central Processing facility in Hoima, for further transportation either to the refinery or to Tanga in Tanzania for export.   

President Museveni and Samia Suluhu before the signing of the Host Agreement today. PHOTO @hakingowi

The preparatory works are expected to be concluded by mid next year, according to Poulet. The Tilenga facility is expected to process 190,000 barrels of oil per day.

Similar activities are also planned for the smaller Kingfisher project, including development of a central processing facility with a capacity of 40,000 barrels of oil per day, 31 oil wells and a 12-inch pipeline from Buhuuka to the export hub and refinery in Kabaale, Hoima.   

Total says it plans to spend up to $10 billion on the oil and gas projects that include developing the oil fields and crude export pipeline. “Stakeholder engagements are currently ongoing to ensure that the District and local leaders as well as surrounding communities are aware of not only the upcoming activities but also the job opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour and equipment operators/drivers,” added Poulet.   

He says they are aware of the national policies on national content and their own internal policies in line with ensuring local content development and participation. “The contractor has enlisted other National subcontractors and in addition the contractor/subcontractors shall recruit support staff from the communities surrounding the areas of our operations.” says Poulet.   

A grievance management procedure has been established to ensure that any issues arising from any of the project activities are effectively recorded and addressed.

According to the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, the plan for the first oil revenues remains 2025.  

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan met on Thursday in Dar-es-Salaam to sign the Tanzania Host Government Agreement (HGA) for the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), with the four joint venture companies. They are the Uganda National Oil Company, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, TOTAL and CNOOC.  

The HGA is an agreement allowing the partners to build a project (in this a pipeline) in or through another country. The HGA for Uganda was signed in April in Kampala

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