By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
Following the global pandemic that has made a negative impact in Africa’s oil and gas industry, the Ugandan government has officially announced that the Final Investment Decision for the East Africa Crudeoil Pipeline (EACOP) project will be signed off during the first quarter of 2021.
Regarding this development, Hon. Mary Goretti Kitutu, Uganda’s Minister for Energy & Mineral Development, made the declaration during the sixth edition of East Africa Oil & Gas Summit 2020, that the EACOP project will create 10,000 jobs as soon the project commences, bringing in the youths and skilled workers in the country to participate on some of the capacity development programmes that has been put in place by the government.
She explained, “Capacity building is managed by the Petroleum Authority of Uganda. Ugandans are not left behind. The local people are very excited, and they are all preparing to see that they participate as there are lots of areas in the industry where they can get involved within the oil and gas industry in Uganda.
“Capacity building is a continuous process. Some of our staffs are undergoing training abroad. We have built capacity over time and we have some Capacity Development Programme with Uganda National Oil Company, Petroleum Authority of Uganda, Uganda Ministry of Energy, and Recruitment Programmes.
“Also, our University is also training people who are working in this industry. We shall have a good percentage of Ugandans trained in the oil and gas sector by the time the sector booms. We are working very hard to make sure Ugandans benefit from the industry.”
The East Africa crude oil pipeline will stretch for approximately 1,443km from the future Kabaale Industrial Park in the Hoima district of Uganda to the Chongoleani peninsula near the Tanga Port in Tanzania.
The Ugandan section of the pipeline will be approximately 296km-long starting near Hoima, close to Lake Albert, and traversing 10 districts and 25 sub-counties to the Tanzanian border between Masaka and Bukoba.
The Tanzanian section will comprise approximately 80% of the pipeline’s total route length. It will run for approximately 1,147km from the Uganda-Tanzania border and traverse eight regions and 25 districts to terminate at a peninsula north of Tanga in Tanzania.