Prof James Mataragio, the director general of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) said here on Monday that logistical obstacles emerged after the project was suspended last year.
This compels the process to start afreshinn the wake of flagging off the project after the Tanzania and Uganda governments signed a pact to build the 1,443 kilometre heated crude oil pipeline from the northern Uganda Hoima oilfields to the port of Tanga.
Several companies had already won tenders and were in various stages of finalizing their procurement processes, he stated.
“Now, following the project’s suspension things changed, and then came the Covid-19 pandemic, where earlier costs also changed. So what we shall now do is to re-advertise the tender bidding process,” he said.
The EACOP project was suspended in November last year after the lead developer, French oil giant Total E&P, stopped works and laid off staff after a tax dispute with the host government.
Firms that had won tenders earlier will be asked to amend various items as some costs have gone up and others gone down, he stated.
There is a pending agreement to be signed by the pipeline investing parties, and smaller agreements on the construction work to be completed by the end of the year, he elaborated.
“When all these agreements are in place, the decision to invest in the project will be given and TPDC will start looking for funds to initiate the construction process as shareholders, owning a stake in ECOP on behalf of the government,” he specified.
“We have talked about the project’s many benefits and these are in three areas – benefits from pipeline construction work such as jobs, land procurement, and our firms will get work to transport pipes. All in all we expect to employ 10,000 people,” the director noted.
There will be benefits from operations whereby 10,000 will be employed who will in turn create opportunities for another 70,000 people as well as revenues for the government, he said.
Construction work is expected to begin next year, taking three years to complete, while at the moment compensation of land for people where the pipeline will pass is now being worked upon, he further stated.
Last week, President John Magufuli and his Uganda counterpart Yoweri Museveni witnessed the signing of the agreement for the project’s implementation.
The two leaders inked a joint declaration that directed implementation of the 1,445km pipeline project whereby in Tanzania the pipeline traverses eight regions with 280 villages.
When completed, the pipeline will have the capacity to transport 216,000 barrels of crude oil per day and in the next 25 years, Tanzania will earn 7.5tr/-, project documents affirm.