By Kaweesa Hope Mulangira
Uganda’s top #Environment activists have opposed the move by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to award a license to the East African Crude #Oil Pipeline Company (EACOP) Ltd which was contracted to construct #Uganda’s crude oil export heated pipeline from Hoima to Tanga in #Tanzania. , Whisper Eye Reports
The construction license will see EACOP company kickstart the construction of the 1,443km crude oil pipeline from Kibaale – Hoima in Uganda to Chongoleani – Tanga in Tanzania, amidst opposition from the environment and climate activists across the world.
EACOP Ltd General Manager Mr. Martin Tiffen together with his Deputy Mr. John Bosco Habumugisha and Mr. Lawrence Ssempanji from Compliance Lead, Uganda handed over the application to the Ag. Director of Petroleum at the Ministry of Energy and Natural Mineral Development Mr. Malinga Honey on Friday 1st July 2022.
Mr. Malinga assured EACOP that the licensing process would take a maximum of just three months, meaning that before the end of this year Uganda will start the construction of the longest heated crude oil pipeline in the world upon its completion.
Mr. Mugonza Andrew, the Executive Director of Urgent Climate Action Africa (UCAA) told Whisper Eye News that the proposed EACOP pipeline will run through the Lake Victoria basin a distance covering about 400 kilometers exposing the biodiversity to pollution and degradation.
Among the areas that will be affected include; Makanaga ramsa site, Nabajjuzi ramsa site, Sango Bay, Musambwa Island among others.
“Don’t award construction license to EACOP Ltd, there is a need to conserve and protect the biodiversity in lake Victoria basin,” says Mr. Mugonza.
“Awarding EACOP a construction license is like passing a death sentence to the biodiversity in the Lake Victoria basin without trial,” he added.
It is estimated that emissions from burning the oil transported by the pipeline could emit at least 34.3 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Andrew explained that; “The amount is greater than the current annual emissions produced by Uganda and Tanzania combined, greater than Switzerland (32.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020), and Norway (31.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020)”.
Mr Malinga assured EACOP Ltd officials that the licensing process would take a maximum period of just three months, implying that before the end of this year EACOP project will kick-off.
The license application highlighted the percentage share of the oil companies leading the development of this pipeline in Uganda: Total Energies (62%), CNOOC Uganda (8%), Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) (15%), and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) (15%).
EACOP Officials were unavailable for a comment regarding the outcry of the activists and the stiff opposition of ts quench for a license.
Many environments and climate activists, and experts have warned Uganda not to venture into constructing the pipeline, but the Kampala government is committed to facing the repercussions by constructing the longest heated crude oil pipeline in the world upon its completion.