EACOP Reaches Milestone with Commissioning of Coating Plant in Tanzania

(P&GJ) — In a significant step forward for the Uganda and Tanzania crude oil pipeline project, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) marked a notable achievement as it officially inaugurated its coating plant at Sojo, Nzega – Tabora Region in Tanzania.

Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa, Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, and her Tanzanian counterpart, Dr. Doto Biteko, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, led the commissioning ceremony of this state-of-the-art facility.

This plant is pivotal in the production process, as it will apply thermal insulation and coating to all pipe sections manufactured in China and shipped to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam. Coating is a critical aspect of the EACOP project, ensuring the safe transport of crude oil from Ugandan wells to the Tanzanian coast for export.

The coating process includes sheathing the carbon-steel pipe in carefully designed thermal insulation, equipped with a network of electrical filaments and fiber-optic cables spanning the entire 1,443 km pipeline length. This configuration enables efficient flow of Ugandan crude oil while integrating leak sensors connected to a real-time satellite tracking surveillance network, thus minimizing environmental risks.

Following coating at the new facility, the 18-meter pipe sections will be transported to various Main Camps and Pipe Yards (MCYP) along the pipeline corridor for final assembly in the EACOP trenchline before burial.

Dr. Nankabirwa commended the EACOP Company for this milestone achievement, emphasizing the project's progress since the announcement of the Final Investment Decision (FID) for Uganda’s upstream oil projects, including EACOP, in February 2022. 'Today's commissioning of this plant is a true testament that the project is on course and at a point of no return,' she remarked.

Additionally, the project involves installing aluminum raceways, an insulation layer, Polyurethane foam (PUF), an anti-diffusion barrier, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) along all project pipes. These measures aim to safeguard the environment and extend the pipeline's lifespan.

The commissioning event also marked the signing of three Land use and Ports Agreements between the EACOP Company and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC). These agreements include the Lease Agreement for land for constructing the Main Storage Terminal, the Marine Facility Agreement, and the Marine Use Agreement.

Martin Tiffen, the Managing Director of the EACOP Company, highlighted the technological advancement and employment opportunities created by the Thermal Insulation and Coating Plant. During the construction phase, 500 personnel were employed on-site, with an additional 270 workers involved in frontline site activities during the production phase.

The EACOP project, with shareholders including TotalEnergies BV, CNOOC Uganda Limited, TPDC, and the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), signifies a significant stride toward enhancing regional energy infrastructure and promoting economic growth in the East African region.

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