The stalled plan to construct an oil pipeline between Kenya and Uganda has been reactivated, reviving hopes of improved petroleum transport and supply to the land locked country. Last year, the Ugandan government announced that any plans to build the pipeline had been put on hold following the termination of an earlier contract awarded to Tamoil East Africa Limited, a Libyan company.
Last year, the Ugandan government announced that any plans to build the pipeline had been put on hold following the termination of an earlier contract awarded to Tamoil East Africa Limited, a Libyan company.
Rev Frank Tukwasibwe, Uganda’s Commissioner for Petroleum Supply, said in November that the contract was being reviewed. However, latest information indicates the project has been revived with calls for companies to bid for the work.
On Friday, Fred Kabagambe Kaliisa, the Permanent secretary in Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Patrick Nyoike, his Kenyan counterpart, issued a joint statement on the Kenya-Uganda refined petroleum products pipeline project.
They said an expression of interest was underway for interested private investors to submit bids indicating their interest in undertaking the work. The joint statement added that the date for the expression of interest had been extended from an earlier dateline of January 30 to February 1st.
The multi-million dollar project is intended to connect a 320 kilometre pipeline between Kampala in Uganda to Eldoret in Kenya to an existing pipeline between Eldoret to Mombasa.
In 2006, Tamoil East Africa Limited won the bid to finance and construct an 8 inch pipeline at a cost of 78.2 million US dollars. The Libyan company beat five other firms including Shell Uganda Limited, China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Corporation, Zakhem Construction Limited, Petronet East Africa Consortium and Energem Petroleum Corporation Limited.
The project, however, failed to progress until the award was eventually terminated. The latest move to restart the project comes at a time when both Kenya and Uganda are witnessing oil discoveries with Uganda contemplating on whether to build a refinery or export crude oil through a pipeline.