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Tanzania commends Uganda’s oil and gas local content policies

Tanzania commends Uganda’s oil and gas local content policies

“We are glad to have had a candid tour of the oil and gas projects in Uganda. I should say that I’m impressed with the progress of work, and the number of Ugandans employed on this project,” EWURA board chairperson, Prof Mandosya said.

The EWURA, PAU EACOP team listen to a TotalEnergies supervisor at the Tilenga-Industrial Park that will host the CPF. PAU Photo

By Our Reporter

The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) of Tanzania has applauded the Petroleum Authority of Uganda for steering a robust local content framework for the oil and gas sector, PAU, reported on her website on March 10.

EWURA is the regulatory body for oil related activities in Tanzania. EWURA’s board and top management were in Uganda recently on a week-long supervisory field visit to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) section of Uganda, and the upstream developments in the Albertine Graben.

The delegation was led by the Tanzanian High Commissioner to Uganda, Dr. Aziz Ponary Mlima, and the EWURA board chairperson, Prof. Mark Mandosya. The delegation started their supervisory visit from Dar-es-Salaam, following the EACOP route enroute to Uganda via the Mutukula boarder point in Kyotera district.

During a review meeting held in Kampala between the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), and EWURA, Prof. Mandosya said their five-day working field visit had showed that Uganda has surpassed many other African countries in ensuring that Ugandans participate actively in the oil and gas sector.

“We are glad to have had a candid tour of the oil and gas projects in Uganda. I should say that I’m impressed with the progress of work, and the number of Ugandans employed on this project,” Prof Mandosya said.

He added that Uganda’s delay to develop its oil and gas resources had helped in preparing the ground, which is a commendable feat.

Dr. Jane Mulemwa (PhD), the PAU Board Chairperson who led the PAU team on the joint field visit re-echoed Uganda’s commitment to develop its resources in a sustainable manner that is beneficial to both countries.

“The benefits realized and those expected to be realized from the production and commercialization of these oil and gas resources are indeed enormous and will positively impact the economies of both countries,” said Dr. Mulemwa.

Ms. Peninah Aheebwa, the Director Economics and National Content Monitoring at PAU told the delegation that Uganda’s deliberate commercialisation strategy is twofold; optimal exploitation of the resources, and ensuring the country retains a good percentage of the investments.

“We have approved contracts worth US$ 6.9bn since the announcement of the FID (Final Investment Decision), and of these, at least US$ 1.7 bn has been earmarked for Ugandans at the different levels, Ms. Aheebwa revealed.

She added that unbundling of the contracts, encouraging subcontracting, and joint ventures ensured that Uganda scores well on the national content front. In addition,  92% of the over 6,800 people employed in Uganda’s oil and gas sector were Ugandans.

Uganda’s National Content Policy requires every entity that is to be contracted for the oil and gas activities to register on the National Suppliers Database (NSD), an online repository that is overseen by the PAU. This gives the PAU visibility on companies that are given contracts by the International Oil Companies. The PAU is charged with approving of  contracts in the oil and gas sector, and requires every contractor to submit a national content plan before it is awarded a contract.

The PAU and EWURA are jointly monitoring and regulating the construction of the 1,443km EACOP project that will transport Uganda’s crude oil from Kabaale, Hoima in Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania before being shipped to the international market.

The EWURA team was in Uganda from 1st to 5th March 2023, and visited some of the resettlement houses handed over to the Project Affected Persons in Kyotera, and Ssembabule districts. The delegation also visited the Main Camp and Pipe Yard (MCPY) 1,3,& 4 in Kakumiro, Sembabule and  Kyotera respectively. The MCPYs will be used for storage of pipes, piping and equipment for the construction of the EACOP and act as construction support bases.

During the visit it was noted that the EACOP is green project planned to use renewable energy a mix of hydropower and solarisation as power supply to the project in line with energy transition.

Mr. Dozith Abeinomugisha, the Director Midstream at PAU told the visiting delegation that Uganda had made commendable progress on the EACOP project especially on the land acquisition process.

“Compensation of PAPs  for Main Camp & Pipe Yard (MCPY) 1 is at 100%, MCYP2 and Pump Station 2 is at 99% with only one PAP left,” Mr. Abeinomugisha said.

In upstream, the delegation visited the Tilenga Project under the operatorship TotalEnergies EP Uganda, the Kingfisher project under the operatorship of CNOOC Uganda in Kikuube district, and the Kabaale Industrial Park that will host among others, Pump Station 1,  the proposed refinery, and the Kabaale International Airport.

The EWURA Uganda visit coincided with the recent French Court ruling that threw out a lawsuit brought by environmental campaigners against TotalEnergies over its oil projects in Uganda and Tanzania. The campaigners wanted the court to order TotalEnergies to stop the East African projects under France’s duty of vigilance law.

Prof. Mandosya said the ruling was an indictment  for those who were vouching for the failure of the EACOP.

“This is the largest project to be undertaken between Uganda and Tanzania since Independence, as such as EWURA and PAU we have an enormous responsibility to ensure that this project succeeds and is undertaken as per the regulatory requirements in both countries,” Prof Mandosya said.

Dr. Mulemwa quipped that she “had no doubt that they would lose that case unless the rest of the whole world had gone mad. She said the campaigners “didn’t know what is on ground, but the facts are there for everyone to see.

During the review meeting,  Ambassador Dr. Aziz Ponary Mlima applauded the two regulatory agencies and urged them to continue the cooperation and share with the public information to close the misinformation gab being utilised by the anti-EACOP campaigners.

The joint supervisory visits are undertaken in line with the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the PAU and EWURA in 2020.  The two regulatory agencies also agreed to work together to advance capacity of their staff through attachments, and aligning of all the monitoring and regulatory framework.

The PAU undertook a similar visit to the Tanzanian section of the EACOP  from 29th January to 6th February 2023.

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