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Juba-Lamu pipeline may extend to Uganda

A crude oil pipeline in South Sudan. (Photo: Gurtong)

A crude oil pipeline in South Sudan. (Photo: Gurtong)

The Uganda government is currently assessing the feasibility of transporting some of its crude oil to the coast through the planned Juba-Lamu pipeline, Ministry of Energy officials have revealed.

According to international media reports, a Japanese company, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, has been contracted by the Kenya and South Sudan governments to lay 2000 kilometers of pipeline to transport crude oil from South Sudan to the Kenyan coast.

Oil in Uganda has established that the company has made some attempts to lure government into the deal, and submitted a proposal whose feasibility government is still studying.

“They presented the study,” confirmed Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD) Fiona Naturinda. “The company (Toyota Tsusho) came to us to do a feasibility study on the crude oil export pipeline from Uganda to Lamu via South Lokichar basin (in the Turkana region, bordering South Sudan),” she said.

According to the media reports, Toyota plans to set up a joint company with the governments of Kenya, South Sudan and (possibly) Uganda to construct and maintain the pipelines.

PEPD’s Assistant Commissioner, Honey Malinga, told Oil in Uganda that it was possible “to have a spur joining the pipeline from Uganda.”

In June, Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame and Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to develop two oil pipelines. These include the existing one that brings products from Mombasa to Eldoret in Kenya and a new one that was proposed from Hoima (Uganda) to Eldoret.

Refinery still top priority

Miss Naturinda, however, explained that in principle, the government had agreed to have a crude oil export pipeline, as part of a bigger commercialisation plan, but the refinery remained its major priority.

“Once we have finalised with the refinery, then we will embark on the pipelines,” she said.

Report by Flavia Nalubega