Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Uhuru, Museveni talks over Sh400bn proposed crude oil pipeline hit deadlock

President Uhuru Kenyatta receiving President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on his arrival at State House Nairobi yesterday.Photo PSCU 22.03.2016.
Negotiations between Kenya and Uganda over the proposed Sh400 billion crude oil pipeline deal have hit a dead end, it has emerged.
The discussions were deferred to the technical teams of the two countries after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni failed to agree after a lengthy meeting.
Uhuru is set to travel to Kampala in two weeks when the technical teams are expected to deliver their verdict on whether the pipeline would pass through Kenya or Tanzania.
“We did not conclude and we asked the ministers [of Energy] and senior officials to look at a number of issues that we raised and be ready to brief us within the next two weeks,” Uhuru said after their meeting at State House, Nairobi, yesterday.
Critics say Museveni had two weeks ago signed a deal with Tanzanian President John Magufuli and Nairobi has little chances of turning the tables against Dar es Salaam.
“We have made it very clear to both teams that those two weeks is it. In one way or the other, we must make a decision. A decision that must be in the interest of the people of Uganda, the people of Kenya and East Africa
at large,” Uhuru said.
Total, which has a stake in Uganda’s crude oil discoveries, had set aside Sh400 billion to build the pipeline from Ugandan fields to the Tanzanian coast.
However, Kenya favours the northern route through Lokichar, as part of the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport corridor project.
The project is expected to be an infrastructural game changer in the towns and counties across its path, as well as transforming lives in the region.
Kenya is spearheading the development of the Lapsset corridor project to strengthen her position as a gateway and a transport and logistics hub to the East African sub-region and the Great Lakes region to facilitate trade, promote regional economic integration and interconnectivity between African countries.
During the meeting at State House, experts from the two countries made presentations on the most viable route between Kenya and Tanzania.
Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said the technical team will consider, among others, the cost of the regional integrated pipeline.
Also to be considered are construct-ability issues along all routes – existing and planned infrastructure, terrain and elevations.
The viability of the ports of Lamu, Mombasa and Tanga as export options will be explored.
Total has previously
raised security concerns about the Kenyan route.
This is because sections of the Kenyan pipeline could run near Somalia, from where militants have previously launched attacks on Kenya.

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