The Star (Nairobi)

16 August 2012

Kenya: Toyota Bids for Lamu-South Sudan Oil Pipeline Project

Toyota Tsusho Corporation has expressed interest in construction of the proposed oil pipeline from Lamu to Juba in South Sudan under the Lamu-South-Sudan Ethiopia transport corridor, one of the key Vision 2030 flagship projects.

Toyota Kenya Chairman Dennis Awori announced yesterday that they have already submitted their bid to the government after completing their feasibility study for the construction works roughly estimated to cost between three and five billion dollars.

"Our proposal includes extensions into Southern Ethiopia where we anticipate they will find oil in the ongoing exploration near the border with Kenya and another to Democratic republic of Congo though Uganda," said Awori "We view the Lamu-Juba pipeline as the spine, which with the ability to support the rest of the branch network into the region together with terminals, export pipeline, mooring areas, and all the accompanying infrastructure.

Awori was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Toyota Tsusho and the Vision 2030 delivery board. In addition to investments in power and energy, petroleum and mineral resources, environmental infrastructure, and agricultural industrialisation fields, Toyota will expand its existing automobile business and investments locally and the East Africa region using Kenya as its hub.

The company is expanding its local motor vehicle assembly plants to include out public transport buses expected to be launched in April next year to supply Kenya and the 13 regional countries covered by the Kenyan operations. Currently only Toyota Land cruisers are assembled locally on a contract basis.

"It would not make business sense to put up a brand new assembly because the existing one are only operating below a third of their capacities," he said. Vision 2030 secretariat director general Mugo Kibati said the entry of Toyota Tsusho into partnership with the board to develop some of the vision 2030 projects will stimulate interest from other multinationals to invest in Kenya.

"We need partners to undertake projects deemed as transformational in nature, and which help other investors realize that Vision 2030 is not a government programme, but all of those who can invest in the country to help achieve a middle income status through sustainable development. Toyota Tsusho Corporation is also establishing a regional vehicle logistics center and central parts depot in Kenya.

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