By Tom Mugisha, firstname.lastname@example.org
KAMPALA – Tanzania’s President John Magufuli will arrive in Uganda on Tuesday and is expected to lay foundation in Masaka central Uganda on Saturday to symbolise start of the construction of the proposed $3.5bn East African Crude Oil Pipeline.
The 1,445-kilometre pipeline is planned to run from Hoima District in mid-western Uganda to Tanzania’s southern Tanga Port on the Indian Ocean coast.
Magaufuli and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni, according to Ministry of foreign affairs, laying the foundation stone had been planned in Hoima, western Uganda where the pipeline will start but it was changed because Magufuli was unwilling to travel 200km to the west of the country.
This, according to senior officials in both the ministries of Energy and Foreign Affairs, led the rescheduling of the groundbreaking ceremony from early October.
Officials said, they had proposed for Mr Magufuli to travel by a helicopter from Mutukula to Hoima but this he vehemently rejected.
Both Uganda and Tanzania are currently evaluating possible financing options for the project. The two countries supported by the French oil giant Total E& plan to fund 70 percent of $3.5b.
The 30 per cent capital will be raised through equity by the Joint Venture partners and national oil companies of the two countries; Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation and Uganda National Oil Company.
The Uganda National Pipeline Company subsidiary will take the lead in securing funding for the pipeline.
The construction is expected to start early next year and to be completed by 2020.
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