Uganda has chosen the Tanzania route as the best option to export its crude oil from Hoima, given approving scientific reasons put forward by technical teams in Kampala.
Tanzania’s Minister of Energy and Minerals Prof Sospeter Muhongo was quoted by government-owned newspaper Daily News saying that the Energy ministers of Tanzania and Uganda had agreed on a recommendation that favours the Tanzanian route.
Tanzania and Kenya have been competing to host the pipeline on their territories, with Kenya lobbying for the Hoima-Lokichar-Lamu port route while Tanzania pushed for the Kagera-Shinyanga-Tabora-Singida-Tanga port route.
Although the final decision was expected to be made after the Summit of Heads of States of Northern Corridor in Kampala this weekend, there are reports that the pipeline issue is not on the agenda.
According to media reports in Tanzania, Prof Muhongo and his Ugandan counterpart Irene Muloni favour Tanga port as the ideal route and they will advise their presidents who would them make the final decision.
Prof Muloni said Tanga port has a competitive advantage over other ports in East Africa because it will make it cheaper and easier for Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo to use the pipeline.
Discussions on the pipeline route are unlikely to be featured in discussions by the presidents as they meet in Kampala this Saturday under the auspices of the 13th Northern Corridor Infrastructure Summit.
The EastAfrican has learnt that the pipeline is not a key issue on the agenda for the Heads of State and it was not featured in any of the preparatory meetings by the technical teams head of the meeting.
“There was to be a cluster meeting to discuss the progress on the pipeline but it did not take place. The reason was that there was no report from the prior meetings between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania for the experts to discuss,” said a source.
“The presidents will be informed by Uganda on the way forward. So countries will have to wait and see if the presidents will discuss the pipeline. Uganda might only inform the presidents of its decision. Whether the presidents will be making an announcement on this during the Summit remains unknown,” said the source.