NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on Monday heard proposals on the planned route for the planned East African crude oil pipeline.
They met in Nairobi where they were given three scenarios for the proposed pipeline and expect to meet again in Kampala for further discussions in a fortnight.
“The two leaders heard technical presentations by Kenyan and Ugandan energy officials on options of constructing the pipeline from Hoima on Lake Albert through Kenyan ‘northern route’ via the oil fields of Lokichar,” a joint statement issued after the meeting said.
The other is “The Kenyan ‘southern route’ through the town of Nakuru, with a loop to Lokichar, as well as a route from Hoima to Tanga in Tanzania,” the statement signed by Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum CS Charles Keter and Uganda’s Energy and Mineral Development Minister Irene Muloni.
Uganda’s oil producers – Irish company Tullow Oil, French company Total and China’s CNOC – had been invited to the meeting.
The two weeks will allow technical officials from Uganda and Kenya harmonise presentations focusing on cost option for the pipeline, viability of the ports of Lamu, Mombasa and Tanga as export options.
The harmonised presentations will also focus on constructability issues along all routes that include existing and planned infrastructure terrain and elevations as well as assessing and confirming the current proven reserves, which will have an impact on the size of the pipeline.
In construction of the pipeline, Kenya favours the “northern route” through Lokichar, because as part of the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) project, it would transform infrastructure and the way of life of the people in the towns and counties across its path.
The move is meant to ensure there is no delay in commercializing especially Uganda’s petroleum resources which were discovered nine years ago.