The private sector is set to benefit from the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, a top Ugandan diplomat has said.
“There is almost $20bn investment in the oil sector and the private sector stands to benefit a lot,” said Uganda’s High Commission
er to Tanzania, Richard Kabonero.
The remarks come just hours after Uganda concluded and signed the Host Government Agreement (HGA) for the pipeline project.
The ceremony which took place on Friday afternoon at State House Entebbe was presided over by President Museveni, and witnessed by Mr. Patrick Pouyanne, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total.
The Signing of the HGA signifies that the oil companies (represented by Total) and Government have reached agreement on the commercial framework for the Lake Albert Development Project.
It also represents significant progress towards achieving the Final Investment Decision which is expected by the end of this year.
Kabonero, who has participated in several bilateral meetings aimed at spearheading the project, said the oil pipeline agreement was a step forward in the right direction for the region.
“It is a milestone to finally be heading to the FID and getting this regional project on a fast track to implementation thereby unlocking opportunities for East African citizens,” he told ChimpReports on Saturday morning.
The 1445km long, 24-inch diameter, buried and heated East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) from Kabaale, Hoima in Uganda to Chongoleani in Tanga, Tanzania, is being developed to transport crude oil from Uganda to Tanga port in Tanzania.
The pipeline will have a loading pad in Kabaale, Hoima, six pumping stations and 27 heating stations along the route together with a facility to load crude oil on to tankers at Chongoleani.
The EACOP will hire approximately 10,000 during the construction phase.
This includes skilled workers, semi-skilled workers, and casual workers.
During the construction phase of the proposed EACOP project, indigenous casual workers will be employed from each district the pipeline passes from Hoima in Western Uganda to Port Tanga in Tanzania.
This is expected to improve the development of local capacity through technology transfer. Also, the proposed EACOP will create short-term employment of about 2- 3 years for welders, heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, mechanics, site engineers, construction manager and construction laborers and more.
President Museveni on Friday said proceeds from oil will be used to further develop the country’s other important sectors like infrastructure, education and health.
“Our oil will be used to develop our infrastructure, and ICT to enhance durable capacity of our country,” said President Museveni.
The proposed EACOP project will have long-term economic benefit for Uganda and Tanzania which include Improved Infrastructure through the construction of new access roads, bridge and also upgrading existing ones.
A big boost in GDP for both countries through taxes is also expected.
Also, the EACOP project will attract more investors for the exploring oil and gas resources in the countries.
Experts say Tanga port will experience more $ 600 million direct investments in establishing new jetty, storage tanks, and supporting facilities.
Investors have since been urged to invest along the oil pipeline routes.
The local communities along the EACOP route will benefit from various training and education program such as road safety, welder training.
Additionally, the small towns along the pipeline’s path are likely to experience the local business boom as those working on the pipeline will stay, in the construction camps, local hotels, drink in local bars and spend money on entertainment.