Construction of the envisaged $4 billion pipeline to transport crude oil from Kabale in Uganda to Tanga Port is slated to commence in August, pending ongoing discussions between the two governments and investors.
The Managing Director of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), Dr James Mataragio, said the 24-inch conduit to cover 1,403 kilometres is expected to convey 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
“Tanzania has been chosen as a priority route due to a number of factors one of which is its experience in implementing gas and oil transportation projects through pipelines such as the 542-km Mtwara-Dar es Salaam gas channel,” Dr Mataragio told a news conference.
He added that, among others, the ongoing discussions are meant to spell out how the government of Tanzania would collect its revenues from the mega project. Construction of the pipeline is expected to take three years.
Last week, President John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni met in Arusha where they discussed the ambitious project.
The two leaders met ahead of the 17th East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit. Apart from its experience in pipeline infrastructure, Tanzania boasts of its natural port in Tanga and the fact that the tube will be passing in an area with low population – hence the minimal compensation for residents along the entire project length.
“What is more, the route from Kabale to Tanga is flat and with no reserved areas such as national parks or game reserves. It will pass through Kagera, Shinyanga, Tabora and Singida to Tanga and this will as well help to spur oil and gas exploration along the route,” Dr Mataragio stated. According to the TPDC boss, the governments of Tanzania and Uganda signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for implementation of the venture in October, last year.
The project is expected to create 15,000 jobs during its execution after which it will employ about between 1,000 and 2,000 people.
“The Tanzania Railway Limited (TRL) could on the other hand benefit from the venture through transportation of 123,000 pipes during the construction phase. The project will as well enable us to upgrade the Tanga port and road network in the northern corridor,” he explained.
The corridor to be created, Dr Mataragio said, could be used in the future to put up pipeline infrastructure to convey natural gas to Northern and Lake Zone regions. Uganda has so far discovered 6.5 billion barrels of the precious liquid along the Lake Albert basin.
The first finding was made by Hardman Resources in 2006, which was later acquired by Tullow Oil.
Source: Daily News