Uganda has begun resettlement studies on the crude oil pipeline that will run from Hoima to the port of Tanga in Tanzania set for a completion deadline of 2020.
The first order of business after the route was finally settled on is land acquisition. This is especially of key focus since the entire corridor in Uganda is not public land hence compensation of land owners and resettlement of families will be required. The number of people and size of land required is not yet known as the Energy ministry has just started the study of land acquisition.
“This will be determined by the Resettlement Action Plan Studies for the Hoima-Buloba utility corridor. Government procured a consultant, Strategic Friends International, to develop and implement the Resettlement Action Plan for the acquisition of land for this infrastructure corridor,” Mr Ibrahim Kasita, the communications specialist in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development commented.
According to Mr Kasita, the route in Uganda will traverse the districts of Hoima, Kyankwanzi, Kiboga, Mityana, Wakiso, Mpigi, Masaka and Rakai before crossing into Tanzania. However, government is currently focused on first acquiring land between Hoima and Buloba in Wakiso District. This is because priority has been an oil refinery of 60,000 barrel of oil per day capacity in Kabaale, Hoima District.
The refined products will require a pipeline to a distribution point in Buloba, Wakiso District. The corridor for the refined products pipeline is the same the crude oil pipeline will follow but continue from Buloba to Uganda-Tanzania border.
One of the concerns raised about oil development in Uganda is the lack of infrastructure such as roads to transport the equipment to be used in the construction of oil refinery. The Kampala – Hoima road is narrow, with some sections dominated by potholes.
In the acquisition of land for the pipeline, the Energy ministry is looking at a corridor that can accommodate a road, a power line, fiber optic and communications cable and the pipeline.
“Government plans to acquire a utility corridor of 133 meters wide that will contain pipelines, a dual carriage highway, a communications cable and a power transmission line. Out of the 133 meters of the utility corridor, 38 meters are earmarked for the pipelines. The utility corridor will be approximately 210km long, from Kabaale, Hoima to Buloba near Kampala,” Mr Kasita said.
Other government agencies like the Uganda National Roads Authority, Uganda Communications Commission, and Uganda Electricity Transmission Company are expected to be brought on board once the land is fully acquired. The process is expected to be completed in the 2017/18 financial
The Uganda government has so far concluded the routing and environmental baseline study conducted by Danish firm, M/s Ramboll and Ugandan firm NewPlan Ltd. This study included an ariel, geotechnical and geophysical tests like soil samples and digging of test pits. The findings of this study are expected to be presented in June 2016, according to the Energy ministry.