The government will not be distracted by the pressure from activists to halt the ongoing construction of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline – EACOP, the Energy and Mineral Development Minister, Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu has stated.
Nankabirwa’s stance follows last week’s report released by GreenFaith, an international and multi-faith climate justice organization that accused French fossil fuel giant TotalEnergies of disrespecting over 2,000 graves along the proposed 1,443-km-long underground oil pipeline.
Uganda’s Tough Talking Energy Minister and veteran politician Nankabirwa during the opening of the energy and minerals week
Entitled “As If Nothing Is Sacred,” the report pointed fingers at TotalEnergies for providing inadequate or no compensation to families and relatives with graves of their loved ones pending relocation and descent reburial away from the project area.
In the report the alleged affected families claimed that they have suffered emotional and spiritual trauma due to the actions of the project developers.
While speaking during the launch of the 19th Annual Energy and Minerals Week that commenced on Monday at the Akamwesi Shopping Mall in Kawempe Division, a tough talking Nankabirwa noted that the Uganda-Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline – UTCOP has suffered blackmail since its inception in 2013.
The Minister emphasized the pressure and blackmail from activists will not distract the government and the project funders to complete the project which is essential for marketing Uganda’s oil once production starts in 2025.
Nankabirwa said 40% of the total USD 3.04 billion, approximately 11.449 trillion needed for the project has already been secured to deliver the long-awaited pipeline.
According to Nankabirwa, Uganda’s hope to produce the first oil is on course and drilling has commenced at Kingfisher, the first commercial oil field in Kikuube, and Tilenga in Buliisa Districts. The Kingfisher and Tilenga oil fields are anticipated to produce 40,000 and 190,000 barrels of oil every day respectively.
The Minister further stated that the government has procured the services of a new developer for the oil refinery who has commenced work.
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