The multibillion dollar project will bring transformation is billed to be another growth pillar in the country’s economy as it has potential to impact development of the zone it passes, and the country at large.
Energy Minister Dr Medard Kalemani told the National Assembly in Dodoma yesterday that implementation of the oil project will benefit thousands of Tanzanians directly.
He said that in collaboration with stakeholders, the government will invest heavily in raising awareness and training to enable local companies to obtain contracts in construction, engineering services, the procurement of materials, logistics insurance, security and catering for emergency services.
The EACOP will provide extensive business opportunities to firms and individuals along with employment to a good number of people during and after construction, the minister stated.
He emphasised on the need to generate readiness to utilize potential opportunities in the project which will pass through eight regions, 24 districts holding 502 villages in total.
The ministry was working on an intensive awareness programme to reach many people, where officials will be assigned to the eight regions in their various districts and numerous villages, he elaborated.
He said the signing of the tripartite pipeline construction protocols kicks off the work, to be built in phases from northwest Uganda to the seaport of Tanga.
The construction of the 1,445-kilometer oil pipeline is scheduled to start soon, with oil export operations expected to start in 2025
The minister made the remarks in responding to a supplementary question by Kiteto MP Edward Kisau, who sought to know what the government was doing to ensure that Tanzanians especially those in his constituency are educated on potential opportunities tied up with the project.
In his basic question the lawmaker wanted to know government plans to ensure that local people, and especially the youth benefit from the oil pipeline project.
In an earlier response before the minister added clarifications, deputy minister Stephen Byabato assured MPs that those residing in the oil pipeline route will not be sidelined, only having to follow tender application procedures.
Tanzania and Uganda have now launched the construction of the world’s longest heated pipeline at an estimated cost of 8trn/- ($3.35 billion) to pump oil discovered in Uganda to international markets.
About 80 percent of the pipeline will be built in Tanzania, passing through Kagera, Geita, Shinyanga, Tabora, Dodoma, Manyara and Tanga regions. It is expected to transport about 200,000 barrels of oil per day, earning the country millions of dollars in excise duties, etc.
The pipeline will also be transporting oil from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan, whose oilfields are close to the Ugandan fields, and reports say they have shown interest to use the pipeline for their oil exports.
About 15,000 job opportunities are expected during the construction period and 2,000 other openings after its completion, reports indicate.