EAC summit to weigh in on crude pipeline row - Rotich

Wednesday March 9 2016

Sudanese repair crew work at the Heglig oil

Sudanese repair crew work at the Heglig oil facility on May 2, 2012. The government Wednesday played down the crude pipeline confusion saying the Kenya-Uganda pipeline deal is still on course. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JAMES KARIUKI
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The government Wednesday played down the crude pipeline confusion saying the Kenya-Uganda pipeline deal is still on course despite press reports that Uganda has chosen to have its oil exported through Tanga port in Tanzania.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter and his Finance counterpart Mr Henry Rotich said the pipeline is a regional project that will be discussed during the East African Community leaders’ summit later this month.

The two said Kenya was a major stakeholder in the project as they planned to have the crude oil processed at Changamwe before it is exported as a refined product that will earn both countries handsome returns.

“We have said that Ugandans will build the pipeline upto the Kenyan border and we shall take up the project from there. That will see us bear the burden of building the pipeline to Eldoret where it shall then be linked to the Eldoret-Nairobi-Mombasa pipeline,” said Mr Keter.

VIABLE OPTION

Mr Rotich said Kenya was also building infrastructure in Lamu and along the Northern Corridor to Isiolo and onwards to Uganda adding that both countries were looking at all the routes before deciding which will be the most viable option.

On the planned oil exploration venture in Kenya, Mr Keter said that Kenya was on course to producing its own oil which will be transported to Eldoret on trucks for onward transportation to Changamwe.

He said discussions were ongoing and that the Lokichar-Kitale-Eldoret road project was also being fast tracked to ensure Kenya starts benefitting from oil production.

He said Kenya just needed a 2,000 barrels initial production to break even while long term plans were being done to lay down an oil pipeline from Northern Kenya to Mombasa.