Tanzanian President John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the construction of a crude oil pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean seaport of Tanga.
The 1,443-kilometre East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) worth 3.55 billion US dollars will be able to transport 200,000 litres of oil per day once the project starts its operation.
It will be the world’s longest electrically heated crude oil pipeline.
Authorities said construction of the EACOP is expected to commence early 2018, and is projected to take 36 months with the prospect of creating between 6,000 and 10,000 jobs.
Uganda’s current oil reserves stand at 6.5 billion barrels with 1.7 billion recoverable from the ground.
The event was witnessed by high-ranking officials, ministers, senior government officials from different institutions which are involved in the project.
Speaking at the historical event, which brought on board thousands of people from the two east African nations, Magufuli described the project as a landmark for swift development of the two countries and east African region at large.
In Tanga region alone, Magufuli said that more than 45,000 youth will benefit directly and indirectly with the implementation of the giant project, which upon completion is to completely change the outlook of the northerly seaport city of Tanzania.
He however challenged Tanzanian youth to explore opportunities available in the project, which touches on almost every sector.
“It is high time Tanzanians chipped in and benefited from the regional project, which has countless benefits,” he said.
Magufuli further lauded Uganda for choosing Tanga route for the crude oil pipeline, which will also be a source of revenue for the two east African nations.
Museveni described Tanga Port as key because of its geographical location and security.
He said that the project will also make fuel cheaper hence foster aviation industry, whereby regional airlines will get cheaper jet fuel.
Museveni further stated that the pipeline shows the importance of integrated decision-making for the two states.