BY UGANDA VANGUARD
KAMPALA – Construction of the planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline expected to last three years could be slowed down by speculators who bought land along the route from Kabaale Hoima, Uganda to Chongoleani, Tanga District, on the East African coast of Tanzania.
According to the environmental and social impact assessment National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) report the Uganda Vanguard as seen, some locals are also expected to lose land.
“Over 400,000 houses for 3000 households are to be displaced with some losing land while speculators who bought land along the line slow the construction process due to compensation disputes,” reads the NEMA report.
Speculators buying land along planned public infrastructure projects which sometimes involve land grabbing is a common practice by highly connect people in Uganda government.
The study conducted by a United States firm; Gulf Interstate Engineers is intended at evaluating the potential environmental and social risks and opportunities arising out of the oil pipeline project and prescribe mitigating measures where necessary.
The planned export pipeline project worth US$3.5 billion is a joint venture between the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC). Others stakeholder firms are Total E&P, Uganda B.V. (TEPU), Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Ltd (TUOP) and CNOOC Uganda Limited (CUL) that will develop, construct and operate the pipeline. Total East Africa Midstream (TEAM) BV is the contracted developer of the project.
The export pipeline originates at Kabaale Industrial Park, in Hoima through Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba and Ssembabule districts and a relatively flat land scape towards Mutukula near the border with Tanzania.
The pipeline is expected to cost US$ 4 billion (Shs15 trillion) and planned to transport 216,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Due to the viscous and waxy nature of Uganda’s crude oil, the pipeline will need to be heated along the entire route making the East African Oil Pipeline the longest electrically heated oil pipeline in the world.
NEMA is a semi-autonomous institution, established in May, 1995, under the National Environment Act, Cap. 153, and became operational in December, 1995, as the principal agency in Uganda, charged with the responsibility of coordinating, monitoring, regulating and supervising environmental management in the country.