PREPARATIONS for the launch of Hoima-Tanga oil pipeline this Saturday are in full gear, with regional leaders here engaged in busy preparatory meetings.
President John Magufuli is expected to host his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni to lay the foundation stone for the project at Chongoleani village. During the construction works, which are scheduled to last for three years, over 10,000 jobs will be created.
Several parts of the region, especially the main major road junctions, have been decorated with placards carrying messages for the 'special day' to unlock the economic potentials of the region.
The pipeline has been in the centre of conversations in almost all gatherings here ahead of the launch of the eagerly awaited project.
The pipeline project launch comes ahead of Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited (TSN) organised Tanga Business Forum, which is among others expected to shed light on available economic opportunities for Tanga residents and the region at large.
Tanga Regional Commissioner (RC) Martin Shigela said here yesterday all the prerequisite preparatory works, including the 500-acre land on which the foundation stone will be laid, are complete.
He said residents whom the government evicted to pave way for the construction works have already been compensated. On the Tanzania side, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) will participate in the project as shareholder on behalf of the government.
TPDC's Legal Officer, Godluck Shirima, who is also in charge of the project, told the 'Daily News' here that they were just finalising preparations for the launch, assuring that, "Everything is going on well."
He noted that a team of experts from the TPDC had already arrived and still camping in the region to ensure that nothing goes wrong. "Laying of the foundation stone speaks load for the project. It basically confirms that the project will be executed in Tanzania," he said.
The officer explained that at Chongoleani, where the foundation stone will be laid, the berth for marine storage terminal as well as marine export terminal will be constructed.
Regional Police Commander (RPC), Benedict Wakulyamba, assured Tanga residents and visitors of security during and after the event. "We have enough police officers deployed for security at several places where the guests will be accommodated," assured the RPC.