KENYAN, UGANDAN OFFICIALS TO MEET OVER CRUDE OIL PIPELINE PROJECT

Kenyan and Ugandan officials are set to meet within the next 10 days to forge a way forward on THE construction of the Lamu-Hoima crude oil pipeline after the fate of the 400 billion shillings (about 3.94 billion US dollars) project became uncertain after reports emerged that Uganda has opted to construct the pipeline through Tanzania.

Kenyan Petroleum Ministry Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau said here Wednesday that should the two sides fail to agree, Kenya would focus on building its own pipeline from Lodwar in northwestern Kenya to the Indian Ocean port city of Lamu.

Kenya having discovered crude oil in Lokichar, about 85 kilometres south of Lodwar, in commercially viable quantities and Uganda having the same in the western part of the country at Hoima, a joint pipeline to evacuate the resource to the coast for export was deemed favourable.

In view of the large capital investment of 400 billion shillings required for the1,300-km pipeline, the two countries had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in August last year to work together on the crude oil pipeline construction.

Last week, reports emerged that landlocked Uganda had opted for a route to Tanzania running from Lake Albert and Hoima to Tanzania’s Tanga Port, causing unease not only for Kenya but also potential investors.

Kenyan officials are now set to meet their Ugandan counterparts over the matter, and should they fail to reach a deal, Kenya says it has a Plan B

Source: KBC