By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Today September 13, 2020, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Tanzania’s John Pombe Magufuli engaged in detailed trade talks with the aim of shaping business prospects between their countries.
Museveni flew to Dar es Salaam this morning where he was received by his Tanzanian counterpart.
According to Museveni, the meeting was meant to discuss issues of bilateral interest majorly those around the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project. “It was a follow-up meeting after Uganda signed the Host Government Agreement with Total recently,” Museveni said.
In the growing trade relations between the two countries, Tanzania announced on Monday that it wants to build a pipeline to pump natural gas to neighbouring Uganda.
State-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) said it was looking to hire a contractor to conduct a feasibility study to determine current and future natural gas demand by identifying all potential customers.
Natural gas reserves in Tanzania are estimated to over 57 trillion cubic feet (tcf), mostly in offshore fields in the south of the country.
The development comes after Uganda and France’s Total on Friday, September 11, 2020 reached an agreement that will bring the oil firm and its partners closer to starting construction of a crude pipeline to neighbouring Tanzania.
The 1,445-km (900-mile) East African Crude Oil Pipeline, costing $3.5 billion, would pass through neighbouring Tanzania to the Indian Ocean port of Tanga.
Total said it had reached an agreement with Uganda protecting its rights and obligations in the pipeline’s construction and operation – known as the host government agreement.
“We have today reached major milestones which pave the way to the Final Investment Decision in the coming months. We now look forward to concluding a similar HGA with the Government of Tanzania and to completing the tendering process for all major engineering, procurement and construction contracts.” Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanné said.
The government said last year once pipeline construction begins, it would take 2-1/2 to three years to complete.
Uganda discovered crude oil reserves estimated at 6 billion barrels in the Albertine rift basin near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.