Uganda’s Government has postponed the launch of the multibillion petroleum projects due to the death of Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
In a statement released by the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, a governmental organisation that regulates the petroleum industry, the launch of the Tilenga Development Project and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, which was planned to take place on 22nd March, 2021, has been deferred to April 2021 “due to the very sad and untimely demise” of Tanzania’s former President Magufuli.
“President Magufuli’s astute leadership set a strong foundation for the EACOP project, with key milestones that included the signing of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) in 201, and the initialing of the Tanzania Host Government Agreement (HGA) in 2020,” the statement reads.
The statement adds, “The Petroleum Authority of Uganda joins the people of the United Republic of Tanzania in this period of national mourning. Launching of the EACOP project will cement President Magufuli’s legacy in ensuring that oil and gas brings enhanced value and economic transformation to the East African region.”
The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) is a proposed 1,445-kilometer pipeline from Hoima, Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania. The two governments signed the Inter-Government Agreements for the $3.5bn EACOP project on 26th May 2017.
The pipeline route was selected by the Government of Uganda as the least cost and most robust. Due to the viscous and waxy nature of Uganda’s crude oil, the pipeline will need to be heated along the entire route, making the EACOP the longest electrically heated pipeline in the world.