Tanzania commissions a pipeline project worth $3.5 billion

  • Tanzania recently approved a pipeline project worth $3.5 billion. 
  • The pipeline would transport oil from Uganda to Tanzania.
  • The project is in partnership with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), TotalEnergies of France, and the state-owned Uganda National Oil Company.

On Tuesday, February 21st, Tanzania approved building a $3.5 billion East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

The 1,443-kilometer (900-mile) pipeline would transport crude from large oilfields being built in Uganda’s Lake Albert to a Tanzanian port on the Indian Ocean.

The pipeline required clearance from both nations, and Uganda granted the project operator, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, a license last month (EACOP).

At the event to receive the approval certificate, the Tanzanian General Manager for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, Wendy Brown noted that the project approval marks yet another milestone for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

“This construction approval marks another step forward to EACOP as it allows commencement of the main construction activities in Tanzania, upon completion of the ongoing land access process,” she said.

It is being developed in collaboration with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), TotalEnergies of France, and the state-owned Uganda National Oil Company.

The oilfields and pipeline project has been met with fierce resistance from human rights activists and environmental groups, who claim it endangers the region’s fragile ecosystem and threatens the lives of tens of thousands of people.

This resistance has been felt also by the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni since last year, after insisting that he plans to make oil exploration a significant part of the Ugandan economy.

In 2022, and even into 2023, the Ugandan President has been met with protests from environmentalist groups such as Friends of the Earth, the EU, and indigenous environment groups in Uganda to seize further development of projects which they deduced would displace the locals.

Regardless, he made announcements this year, that Uganda’s goal to become a major oil exporter in Africa still stands, as he promised to significantly buff up the Ugandan economy via the oil trade.

The energy gap created by the Russia-Ukraine conflict presents an opportunity for Africa to fill a substantial quota in the global oil market. As a result, more and more oil exploration projects are springing up across the continent, and the sub-continent of East Africa is no different.


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