President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni remains committed and set on seeing Uganda’s oil exploration project and development plan concluded as stipulated; including advancing the mega oil pipeline project across Lake Albert.
While addressing the 7th Annual Uganda International Oil & Gas Summit (UlOGS) at Serena Hotel in Kampala on the theme: Harnessing Uganda’s Investment & Growth; His Excellency the President vowed that plans to build a cross-border export pipeline to carry crude oil from Uganda’s Lake Albert basin to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean Coast will not be derailed by criticism from the European Union (EU).
“The main point is that we’re moving forward with our program. The European Parliament has got enough work to do in its own place. I would advise them to spend a bit more time solving the problems of our people there. East Africa has got more capable people who know what to do,” H.E Museveni said.
Recently, the EU parliament passed a resolution that essentially called for the development plan to be changed — including a rerouting of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) — to protect the environment, climate and human rights in Uganda, where two oilfields will be tapped, and Uganda and Tanzania, across which the EACOP will run.
France’s Total Energies and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) signed a $10 billion agreement earlier this year to develop Ugandan oilfields and ship the crude through a 1,445-kilometre (900-miles) pipeline to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean port of Tanga.
According to the President, although he did not initially support the idea of a pipeline; given the 12.7 American cents that will be charged as tariff transportation for each barrel, East Africa has got numerous energy needs, and therefore both a refinery and pipeline will be of great value and urged players in Uganda’s oil and gas sector to support both the refinery to be constructed in Hoima and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
”That’s why we settled on the idea of both a refinery and a pipeline. So, therefore, I encourage the oil companies to move on the two; on the refinery and on the oil pipeline,” Gen. Museveni said, adding that the European Union should respect the same.
“They should calm down. Because this is the wrong battleground for them. The plan will be implemented according to schedule and I hope our partners join us firmly,” H.E Museveni noted.
It should be noted that the President recently warned Total Energies that if its commitment to the country’s $20 billion oil project begins to waver under pressure from the European Union, he will quickly find a new investor to work with. Gen. Museveni said Uganda will continue to work with Tanzania, not only in the spirit of brotherhood but also in other benefits like gas which Uganda will get from there.
“While we have oil here, we don’t have so much gas. Tanzania and Mozambique have got more gas and the Tanzanian government has agreed that the corridor through which the pipeline will pass, can bring a return pipeline to bring gas from either Tanzania or Mozambique for our area here,” H.E Museveni said.
Uganda and Tanzania signed an agreement over construction terms for a 1,450 km heated oil export pipeline to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean Port of Tanga.
The President also assured the country that electricity tariffs will continue to go down to spur economic growth through industrialization.
“The government power must be preferably 5 cents per unit or not more than 8.16 cents,” Gen. Museveni said, adding that he’s in touch with some groups who are willing to provide even cheaper electricity to Ugandans.