Tanzania: Magufuli, Museveni Give Green Light to $3.5 Billion Pipeline Project

(file photo).

Chato — Tanzanian president John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on Sunday gave a green light for the construction of the oil pipeline, saying the remaining issues should immediately be concluded.

The two leaders, who met at Chato airport, signed the intention to start implementing the $3.5 billion project, warning that anyone who may attempt to delay the process will be dealt with accordingly.

"This is an important step towards the implementation of the project. We, the presidents, have signed and I will see who will delay it," said Dr Magufuli during his speech.

He also revealed that Tanzania will get a 60 percent share of the profits to be accrued from the pipeline project because about 80 percent of it will lay on Tanzania's land.

Mr Museveni said he was ready to give Tanzania 80 percent of the profits due to the fact that the largest part of the pipeline was in the country but, according to him, Dr Magufuli settled on 60 percent.

"Uganda gave up about $800 million that would have been generated in the course of 25 years just to make this project kick-off," he said as he stressed the need for the project to start.

Uganda discovered some 6.5 billion barrels of oil since 2006 and Total and partners were developing the project.

The 1,443km long heated pipeline will transport oil from Hoima in Uganda through Chongoleani in Tanga, Tanzania to the world market.

The two countries were still discussing crosscutting issues on how the two sides would benefit from the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

The two sides also signed a deal on the crosscutting issues.

Dr Magufuli and Mr Museveni said in their joint communiqué that each country should conclude the host government agreement with the EACOP, start consultations for other agreements and expedite the implementation of the project.

Other remaining agreements which they said should immediately be worked on include that on port business, shareholding as well as financing.

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