Kenya, Tanzania gas pipeline in the offing

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Kenya, Tanzania gas pipeline in the offing
Image Source: People Daily

Kenya and Tanzania have signed an agreement to start working on a gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa in what the leaders of the two countries said was part of a long-term project to share energy resources.

At a joint Press conference in Nairobi, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart President Samia Suluhu said they had agreed to build more interconnecting infrastructure, starting with a gas pipeline and roads.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Natural Gas Transportation means respective Ministers of Energy can start negotiating the design, cost and other logistical needs for the pipeline to be built.

A joint communique said it will enhance “energy sufficiency” with Kenya keen on importing gas from Tanzania’s nascent plant.

No timelines were given but President Samia said respective technocrats have been directed to start working on it immediately.

READ: Total inks deal with Uganda on East Africa Oil Project

“That is a long-term project and we are thankful that today we have signed an agreement and what remains is implementation,” she said.

“We have agreed on the need to ease the transportation of key energy resources and we have reached one such understanding on the transportation of gas. What we need to do now is start implementing the project.”

President Samia Suluhu arrived in Kenya on Tuesday for her maiden – two-day state visit after taking over the presidency following the death of John Pombe Magufuli in March.

Meanwhile, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project is in financial blues following withdrawals by European lenders barely three weeks after its launch.

According to French newspaper Les Echos, three French banks – BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Crédit Agricole – which have previously bankrolled Total’s oil and gas projects – had opted not to provide financing for EACOP, while Milan-based UniCredit, one of the targeted lenders for the project, cited policy barrier in financing projects that pose environmental risks.

Early this year, a group of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) issued a warning to potential financiers of EACOP against funding the multi-billion project citing environmental and social risks. The NGO’s claimed the project would lead to serious environmental risks through carbon emissions.

READ: Construction date for East African Crude Oil Pipeline project postponed

The Total SE-sponsored US $3.5 billion project has been facing numerous challenges leading to several postponements of the construction.

The EACOP project was officially launched on April 11 during the oil summit between Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania and Total chairman and chief executive officer Patrick Pouyanne in Uganda.