Speaking here yesterday, EACOP Project Coordinator at the Ministry of Energy, Salum Mnuna however noted that authorities should not allow permanent activities including planting of long-term crops.
This comes after implementation of the 1,445-kilometre pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Chongoleani in Tanga slowed down due to a tax dispute between the government of Uganda and investors.
He said the project is still intact as the tax dispute between Uganda and one of the investors that came up has been cleared,but the main works on the project are at a standstill. This includes feasibility studies and identification of the route, je stated.
Tanga Regional Commissioner Martine Shigella said at the meeting that the project is ongoing and has reached land appropriation stage, even though there are still snags on the Ugandan side.
He said the snags are normal occurrences in huge projects, in which case the government has assured investors that the solutions thereof will be found, and hopefully by next year all initial preparations will be completed and project implementation finally start.
"We should all convey this message to residents of areas where the pipeline will pass to continue to be patient as the project will materialize, and be prepared to benefit from it.”
THE RC stressed that employment and other opportunities have not officially been initiated and warned people who are advertising employment opportunities in the pipeline project. He said legal steps will be taken against any person who will be found doing so.
It was reported in late August this year that the USD900 million deal by Tullow Oil to sell a significant stake in the project to Total and Chinese company Cnooc had collapsed following a tax dispute with the Ugandan government.
Tullow Oil said that the French and Chinese oil majors had been unwilling to grant a further extension to the agreement — originally secured in 2017 — to resolve the row, which centred on the transfer of tax credits to the buyers.
The London-listed independent oil explorer said it was unable to secure extra time, despite previous extensions “having been agreed by all parties.”
Tullow had been hoping to use the deal to reduce its holding in the undeveloped Lake Albert project in Uganda from 33 per cent to 11 per cent.