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French oil major Total S.A has said it will finance the development of the $4b (Shs13 trillion) crude oil export pipeline from Uganda’s Albertine Graben to Tanzania’s Tanga port at the Indian Ocean.

Mr Javier Rielo, the Total East Africa vice president, on Monday, assured Tanzanian President John Magufuli that “the company will begin construction of the pipeline project to transport oil from Uganda to Tanga as soon as possible, for funds to implement the project exist.”

According to a statement by the Tanzanian presidency, the two held talks on Monday at the State House in Dar es Salaam.
Mr Rielo, said, the statement indicated that the company “intended to spend nearly $4b on the project.

The meeting was also attended by the Tanzanian Energy minister Sospeter Muhongo who, according to the statement, expressed readiness to kick start the project immediately.

The news of the financing the 1,410-kilometre (876-mile) pipeline comes two weeks after the President Museveni and President Magufuli, meeting on the sidelines of the 17th Ordinary East African Community (EAC) summit in Arusha, “agreed” to develop the infrastructure via the southern route.

Uganda and Tanzania had last year in October signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of the project after, leaving the earlier proposed route via Kenya hanging in balance.

Following the Uganda-Tanzania deal early this month, Daily Monitor understands, Kenya has since put the spanner in works in a bid to salvage the deal—since the country is also currently in exploration stage for cumulative commercial oil quantities in the Northern Lockichar basin—and the pipeline project [from the Albertine via Lokichar to Lamu port] is an advantage to export its crude to the international market.

Kenyan deal
In 2013, Kenya and Uganda hired the Japanese engineering and consulting firm, Toyota Tsusho, to conduct a feasibility study on the proposed routes for the pipeline and recommended the Lamu route.

The route to Kenya is approximately 1,120km with a tagged cost of $4.5b (Shs14.9 trillion).
The International Oil Companies (IOCs) UK’s Tullow Oil PLC, Total E&P and China’s Cnooc, currently licenced to operate in Uganda, will finance the project.

An official in the Energy ministry told Daily Monitor that the Kenyan government had expressed “consternation” at the Tanzanian deal, but expressed immediate willingness “to revive” discussions with Uganda.

“They also want the deal badly,” the official said. Government technocrats were not ready to comment on either development.
Kenya and Uganda inked an MoU last October for the Lamu route but Kenya vociferously contested some of the preconditions such as guaranteeing upfront financing for project and the attendant infrastructure, guaranteeing transit fees/tariff not higher than any of the alternative routes, and most crucially guaranteeing security—since the project stop point [Lamu] at the Indian Ocean coast borders the restive Somalia to the North.

Daily Monitor also understands that Uganda and Tanzania are still furthering discussions on the southern route.

However, with both Kenya and Tanzania jostling for the deal and notwithstanding the MoUs, the official position of Uganda remains in suspense.

The pipeline is among the proposed key upstream infrastructure required before Uganda leaps forward to the next development/commercial production phases.

Other infrastructure included a $4b oil refinery, whose tender was last year awarded to Russia’s RT.

The refinery will be financed/owned in Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with government in a 60:40 equity ratio.
However other East African countries are set to buy stakes in the project to facilitate its financing.

Capacity
Currently Uganda’s oil volumes stand at 6.5 billion barrels but there are indications could soon hit the 8 billion barrels mark.

Geothermal energy is clean, green, its carbon footprint on the environment is minimal.Since geothermal energy production began in Kenya in the 1980s, the technology has evolved to help make it a cleaner process.

The region's underground is a geothermal hotspot, harbouring hot water sources and steam at 300 degrees Celsius (572 degrees Fahrenheit) that is piped up to the surface from depths of up to 2,000 metres (6,500 feet). For many years, Kenya has relied on its hydroelectric network, which last year produced 820 MW. But recurring droughts have rendered this source of energy much less reliable than before.

Goeffrey Kamese Nansonve is representing NAPE in the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) meeting that is taking place in Berlin German. The African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) was launched in Paris during the UNFCCC COP21. The AREI aims at enabling the installation of large-scale renewable energy capacity on the African continent by 2020, which would have a considerable impact on the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions in the continent. At least $5 billion in public and highly concessional finance between 2016 and 2020, from bilateral, multilateral and other sources, including the Green Climate Fund, will be needed to leverage a further USD15 billion in other investments, for a total investment of at least USD20 billion pre-2020.                                                                                                                               

The Initiative is led by the African Union’s commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)’s Agency, the African Group of Negotiators, the African Development Bank, the UN Environment Program (UNEP), and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The AREI has been identified as an important initiative of driving an energy transformation process on the African Continent. NAPE; which is also Friends of the Earth Uganda cherishes and has been promoting the idea of a community owned and community controlled energy development agenda and it is in this spirit that we are looking at an energy agenda that supports community centered and community owned energy options as a way of overcoming community energy poverty in Africa. As we welcome the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), we hope it will not repeat past energy initiatives on the continent that have brought more misery to the people instead of improving their livelihoods. While governments have been focusing on energy for industry, they have not put equal efforts towards developing energy that can meet the basic energy needs of the communities.

Today people are considered to have energy access even when they cannot utilize it and only see cross their houses just because of such energy is not affordable to them. Many communities lack clean cooking energy and depend on biomass for energy. We have seen energy systems fail not only in Africa but all around the globe. It very definite that an energy breakthrough on the African continent will only be achieved when the people on the continent will collectively have a say on the kind of energy they desire and where such energy option should be located.


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NAPE was represented at the UN Climate sumit in Paris by two staff - Goeffrey Kamese N, who is the Senior Program officer in charge of Climate Change and Chemicals Management at NAPE and sits on the Steering Commuittee of Climate Justice and Energy of Friends of the Earth International.

David Kureeba who is the Cordinator of Global Forest Coalition at NAPE and Friends of the Earth International.  Mr. Kureeba also leads campaigns involving agro-fuels and the negative effects of plantation expansion as well as tracking and analyzing the United Nations program Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation(REDD). Kureeba features in KPFK radio’s Sojourner Truth radio show, http://globaljusticeecology.org/earth-watch-david-kureeba-with-the-global-forest-coalition-and-friends-of-the-earth/