By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus - On Sunday 12th April, President Yoweri Museveni, with his Tanzanian counterpart President Samia Hassan Suluhu, signed the final East African Crude Oil Pipeline project agreement.
“The EACOP Tripartite Project Agreement has been signed by all parties with commitment for realization of the Equal project; for the benefit of all people of Uganda and Tanzania in the spirit of East Africa,” announced Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kuteesa.
Accordingly, the agreement, which was signed in the Ugandan capital Kampala, paves the way for the construction of a 1,440 km (app. 894.775 miles) crude oil pipeline from Uganda’s Albertine region to the Tanzanian seaport of Tanga.
Extraction will take place at two oil fields: the Kingfisher field, which is operated by China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd, and the Tilenga field, operated by Total S.A.
Besides, Uganda had suspended the signing of the agreement last month to mourn the death of the then Tanzanian president John Pombe Magufuli.
It is believed that the $3.55 billion pipeline could be the longest electrically heated crude oil pipeline in the world. Once completed, more than 10,000 job opportunities will be created during execution, according to Suluhu.
However, environmental activists say the project poses risks to injure protected environments, water sources, and wetlands in both countries due to C02 emissions from the burning of oil through the pipeline.