Uganda, Tanzania begin construction of major oil pipeline

Uganda, Tanzania begin construction of major oil pipeline

Uganda and Tanzania on Saturday began construction of the “world's longest pipeline” to transport high-viscosity crude oil from Uganda to the coastal city of Tanga in Tanzania.

The $3.5 billion project is a milestone for Uganda, which is expected to start pumping its crude oil reserves to international markets within three years, according to officials.

Uganda, a member state of the East African Community, is estimated to produce about 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil, enough to put the country on the path to economic development.

The 1,445-kilometre (899-mile) pipeline will start in western Uganda, where crude oil reserves were discovered a decade ago.

During the opening ceremony of the project, Tanzanian President John Magufuli said the pipeline would benefit his country economically. “I would like to assure President Museveni of the safety of this mega project which will bring many benefits to Tanzanians,” the president said.

The president urged French oil giant Total to speed up construction work so that citizens of both countries can benefit from the project before the end of his first term.

“I don't understand why we have to wait three years to complete this project. We have to make sure this project is completed before 2020,” he said.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said East Africa's huge reserves of natural resources would boost trade and the economy in the regional bloc.

“In my opinion, East Africa, especially Uganda, cannot be stopped now. There is nothing stopping us from growing and transforming,” Museveni said.

Earlier, Deputy Minister of Energy and Minerals Medard Kalemani said the project would open a new chapter of economic development for Tanzanians by generating revenues of about $2 million and thousands of jobs. “More than 10,000 people will be employed and more than 140 villages through which the pipeline passes will have access to electricity,” he added.

The Anadolu Agency website contains only a part of the news provided to subscribers on the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summary form.

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