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Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan is expected in Uganda today.

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Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan is expected in Uganda today for talks that should culminate into the signing of the deals on Sunday 11, a top official from Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed

“The Tanzanian president will be on her journey in a few hours for talks, which will climax with the signing ceremony on Sunday,” the official said.

This will be President Samia’s first state visit since she replaced the late John Pombe Magufuli who died on March 17.

“Something major is expected to happen this weekend, regarding Uganda’s oil,” confirmed Herbert Ssempogo, Senior Corporate Affairs Officer at the Uganda National Oil Company, without giving details.

The late Magufuli was due in Kampala on March 22 for the three-way signing of the crude oil export pipeline deal between the governments of Uganda and Tanzania and the French oil giant Total, the lead investor.

However, he died before the due date,Kampala then announced that the deal would be signed the early half of April, to pave the way for the construction of the 1440km export pipeline from Western Uganda to the Tanzanian Indian Ocean Port of Tanga.

The event for signing the oil pipeline deal was scheduled for March 22, 2021 but was rescheduled following the death of then-President, John Pombe Magufuli, five days earlier on March ,17.

Sunday’s visit will be Suluhu’s first trip outside Tanzania since becoming president.

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline is a 1,445-kilometer-long pipeline from the oil wells in western Uganda in Hoima district to Tanzania’s seaport of Tanga .

The pipeline will cover 296km in Uganda passing through Hoima, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba, Kyotera, Lwengo, Ssembabule, Rakai and Kikuube and 1443km in Tanzania through the regions of Kagera, Gieta, Shinyanga, Tabora, Singida, Dodoma , Manyara and Tanga.

By signing the Final Investment Decision, construction of the 1,445-kilometer-long pipeline will then kick-off, having been delayed by the Covid pandemic.

The $3.5 billion oil pipeline project is the longest electrically heated pipeline in the world and it is heated because Uganda’s oil is waxy.

Uganda has about 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil discovered in the Albertine Graben on the border between Uganda and DR Congo at the Kingfisher and Tilenga fields.

The two oil fields are operated by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Total S.A.

The pipeline project is being implemented by a joint venture of CNOOC and Total; Uganda government through the Uganda National Oil Company and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation.

The project is expected to create jobs, help in technology transfer, creation of new infrastructure and enhance trade between Uganda and Tanzania and the East African region at large.

President Museveni last year said proceeds from the oil will be used to further develop the country’s other important sectors like infrastructure, education and health.

“Our oil will be used to develop our infrastructure, and ICT to enhance durable capacity of our country. I am glad that Total and other companies licenced in the country are taking bold steps to quickly commence the production of petroleum,” Museveni said during the signing of the Host Government Agreement (HGA) pipeline with Total in September last year.

Museveni reassured the exploration company of government’s support during their work.

The decision will unlock billions of dollars of investment in Uganda’s oil and gas sector.

Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanné, is expected in the country over the weekend, the newspaper said, quoting officials from Uganda’s energy ministry.

The deal will also pave way for the construction of the 1440km crude export pipeline from Western Uganda to the Tanzanian Indian Ocean Port of Tanga, a key piece of infrastructure needed to get the east African country’s oil out of the ground and on to international markets.

Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan is also traveling to Kampala to take part in the three-way talks that should culminate in the signing of the deal.

This will be President Samia’s first state visit since she replaced the late John Pombe Magufuli who died on March 17.

Magufuli was due in Kampala on March 22 for the signing of the pipeline deal between the governments of Uganda and Tanzania and the French oil giant Total, the lead investor.

Following his death, Uganda announced that the ceremony had been postponed to early April.

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