Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has on Sunday landed at Entebbe international airport to sign the Oil Pipeline deal between Uganda and her country.
Her visit to Uganda will be the first international trip since taking office nearly three weeks ago after succeeding his former boss, John Pombe Magufuli who died of heart-related conditions.
Samia Suluhu the sixth Tanzanian and current president. She is a member of the ruling social-democrat Chama Cha Mapinduzi party.
Magufuli died at a time when his government was due to sign the oil and gas development agreements between Uganda-Tanzania and TOTAL SA. After Magufuli’s death, Sunday April 11 was set as new date.
The agreements will sign off the deals on the pipeline company shareholding plan and the crude oil transportation tariff, which were the last remaining issues.
The Oil and Gas sector’s key milestones so far include the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement in 2017 and the initiation of the Tanzania Host Government Agreement. Magufuli had been pushing for the fast-tracking of the pipeline project so that Uganda starts exporting oil by the end of 2023.
In 2016, the late Magufuli made a surprise move to sway Uganda away from a deal that was nearing the conclusion to construct the pipeline through Kenya.
The 1,440 km pipeline project is expected to cost USD 3.5 billion and its completion is supposed to coincide with Uganda’s readiness to produce oil. Uganda will hold 15 per cent in the pipeline company, while Tanzania holds 5 per cent. Total SA and Chinese oil company CNOOC will own 72 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.
The signing of the agreement will pave the way for the Final Investment Decision.