THE multi-billion East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project will source 30 types of products from local entrepreneurs in the course of its implementation as the proj- ect partner states, Tanzania and Uganda, gears up to real- ize local content policies.
The move is intended to assure the participation of the locals in both countries in the implementation of the project which is about to kick off.
The project will be con- structed at a distance of 1440km from Hoima District in Uganda to Tanga Region in Tanzania at the cost of 3.5 bil- lion US dollars (about 8.1tri/-).
High Commissioner of Uganda to Tanzania, Richard Kabonero, revealed yesterday tat the two countries have decided to identify and ring-fence 30 products to be used in the project. Out of the total 30 products, 17 will come from Tanzanian producers and the remaining 13 from Ugandan manufacturers, said the High Commissioner at a press conference held in Dar es Salaam.
He said 30 per cent of build- ing materials and other supplies in the project will be supplied by local entrepreneurs from the two countries.
He therefore asked entrepre- neurs from the two countries to make better use of the projects and get ready to bid for various tenders to be announced in the near future.
"The EACOP is a joint ven- ture project that needs effective participation of people from both countries," he said, adding that there are a number of Tanzanian companies that have registered in Uganda ready to execute the project.
The High Commissioner was seconding remarks issued earlier by the Chairperson of the Association of Tanzania Oil and Gas Service Providers (ATOGS) Mr Abdu Abdulsamad Abdulra- him who said there are over 20 companies from Uganda that have already registered in Tanzania ready for the project.
He said they have secured a grant of 500,000 US dollars (about 1.2bn/-) from African De- velopment Bank (AfDB) to sup- port a full participation of small and medium scale entrepreneurs in the project.
Moreover, he said, ATOGS has agreed with Stanbic to es- tablish an incubation program for Small and Medium Entrepre- neurs (SMEs).
"The program is aimed at nurturing SMEs in Uganda to prepare for and harness busi- ness growth opportunities in Tanzania," he said, noting that the bank was also exploring options to extend capacity building and ensure the readiness of local businesses for participation in the oil and gas projects.
He reaffirmed commitment to effectively participate in the project and ensure everything is done at international standards.
"The opportunities through the EACOP project are immense and therefore, this is the most ideal time to address any con- straints to cross-border business so as not to hinder progress when the project commences," added Mr Abdulrahim.