Key oil law to be out of Uganda parliament by November 30 -Nankabirwa

Energy Minister, Ruth Nankabirwa (L) chats with Uganda's ambassador to Tanzania, Richard Kabonero, at the oil and gas symposium in Dar es Salaam Tanzania yesterday (Saturday) morning.

A Bill that will allow for the development and implementation of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project will out of Ugandan Parliament by the end of November, 2021.

Energy Minister, Ruth Nankabirwa disclosed that “Parliament Committee handling the Bill has already completed and submitted its report” paving way for the tabling and passing of the important legislation.

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (Special Provisions) Bill 2021, seeks to facilitate the full implementation of Uganda’s obligations under the Intergovernmental Agreement and the Host Government Agreement.

While Tanzania passed the Bill in August 2021, Ugandan authorities have been meeting with lawmakers to have the legislation passed.

The proposed legislation will enable some provisions of the Intergovernmental Agreement signed between Uganda and Tanzania as well as the Host Government Agreement signed between Uganda and EACOP Company Ltd to allow for progress of the project.

It will also define the local content regime applicable to the EACOP and ensure that Ugandan citizens and enterprises benefit from the project in addition to guaranteeing third party access to the pipeline and define the tariff to be paid.

Ms Nankabirwa who spoke at the Uganda-Tanzania Oil and Gas Symposium in Dar es Salaam yesterday (Saturday) morning said it would be a “milestone” for both countries if the law is passed in Uganda as soon as possible.

She revealed that physical works have commenced in upstream projects of Tilenga and Kingfisher where central processing facilities will be constructed to pump more than 200,000 barrels of oil per day through the EACOP from Hoima to Tanga in Tanzania.

Participants in the symposium.

Local content

The minister said national content is a key component in the oil project urging Tanzanians and Ugandans to use the platform provided by the symposium to conclude joint partnerships to benefit from the opportunities provided by the oil and gas sector.

She also said joint ventures will enable private sector players in both countries to favourably compete for opportunities worth more than $20b.

“Quality and competence are also paramount” said Ms Nankabirwa adding, “The participation of Ugandans in supply of goods and services is the sure way of creating long lasting value.”

Tanzania’s Energy Minister, January Makamba, said “Tanzania and Uganda will never be the same after this EACOP project. This region will be transformed because we will have a key feature in the global market”.

He said the people of the two countries have had enough of talking and now want to “see results”.

The minister added that Tanzania is “keen on building a gas line to sell gas to Kenya, Uganda and Zambia and outside the world”.

A major challenge that private sector players within the oil and gas industry face is limited awareness about the opportunities and areas of partnership that are available.

This is in addition to knowledge gaps about the legal and regulatory regime and poor coordination between and among public and private sector actors.

This limits their ability to plan strategically even when they are able to overcome financial and human resource challenges to contribute to local content.

But Uganda’s envoy to Tanzania, Mr Richard Kabonero, said “the symposium creates a unique opportunity for the private sector to understand the current oil and gas landscape to explore business opportunities that are available and to lay strategies for securing financing for the projects”.

He said participants who are mainly from the private sector will have a grasp of the legal and regulatory framework for participating in the oil and gas industry, the challenges involved and the possibilities for joint ventures between businesses.

The event attracted participants from all walks of life including private sector associations, financial providers, legal firms, insurance firms, logistics providers, international and national oil companies and development partners.

Others include oil and gas providers, media, social society, regulators, taxation agents, policy makers, environment agencies and investment agencies.

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