While the project to build the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) has been criticised by some groups over environmental concerns, the head of the African Energy Chamber (AEC) has praised the project as helping to end energy poverty in the region.
The 1443-km-long pipeline will pump crude oil from oilfields in Uganda’s Lake Albert basin to the Port of Tanga, the second-largest port in Tanzania, enabling it to reach both international and regional markets. TotalEnergies, which many will know as a producer of metalworking and other industrial fluids under the Total brand, is the main stakeholder in the project, having recently made a final investment decision worth $10 billion.
Construction of the pipeline is expected to lead to the creation of thousands of well-paid jobs in the region, as well as creating new opportunities for contractors and local businesses. Further capital is also expected to flow into Uganda and Tanzania in the later stages of the project. To address environmental concerns, TotalEnergies says it has developed a carbon friendly, safe plan for the project.
As the AEC’s Executive Chairman, NJ Ayuk, said about the pipeline:
“TotalEnergies and partners have been very proactive, and have invested a lot in building relationships at community level. They have a strong track record of robust environmental management and social engagement, and it gives the AEC comfort to back this project without hesitation.”
Ayuk added that Tanzanian and Ugandan citizens were already yielding benefits from community workshops, content programmes, investment and training programmes at a local level.