Impact assessment for EA oil pipeline nears completion

What you need to know:

  • The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment report for Uganda-Tanzania crude oil pipeline is expected to be released next month.

Dar es Salaam. The Environmental Social Impact Assessment (Esia) report for the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (Eacop) is in the final stages and will be completed by next month.

The completion and approval of the report will give the green light to start of the implementation of the project, which links Hoima in Uganda to Tanga Port in Tanzania. The pipeline is expected to cost $3.5 billion and planned to have a capacity of transporting 216,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

According to earlier negotiations, Uganda will pay Tanzania $12.20 for each barrel flowing through the pipeline.

It was said that the company would submit the report to the National Environment Management Council (Nemc) by December for approval.

Total East Africa B.V’s social and land manager Jean Lennock said as he was addressing participants in a multi-stakeholders meeting on Eacop in the city yesterday convened by the Oxfam in Tanzania. “Land surveys completed on all pipeline corridor and facility sites. Issuance of Esia certificates will follow after the report is being approved by the Nemc,” Lennock explained.

Company’s environmental manager Stan McBride further expounded that the firm has embarked on various mitigation measures to minimise possible environmental hazards, to be caused by the pipeline. In May, 2017, the inter-governmental agreement was signed between Tanzania and Uganda for development of the 1,445-kilometre Eacop.

The project is planned to transport crude oil produced in Uganda’s Albertine Graben to Tanga Port in Tanzania to enable access to the market through the Indian Ocean.

Given the plans to construct the pipeline, civil society organisations in Uganda and Tanzania yesterday convened a multi-stakeholder meeting, among others, the participants met to give updates on progress on the pipeline development, environmental social impact assessments, resettlement frameworks, commercial arrangements and other aspects related to the pipeline roll-out.

“We expect to see a massive flow of foreign direct investment in the country amid completion of the pipeline project,” Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation’s advocate Goodluck Shirima said when he addressed the meeting yesterday.

Mr Shirima was also concerned that the completion of the pipeline project would benefit both host countries through revenues/taxes, citing also that the project will benefit the host communities in term of direct and indirect jobs.

Mr Shirima is optimistic that the project will attract more investors to come and explore potential oil blocks in the East African Community.

“There are oil blocks in Manyara and along Lake Tanganyika. The investors will be interested to explore the Tanzania’s oil blocks,” he said

The meeting under the theme ‘The East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline: Securing the rights and livelihoods of people and the integrity of nature’ was also attended by the community members from along the pipeline route, local government representatives and experts drawn from Uganda, Kenya, the US and Canada.