Japan’s Toyota Tsusho wins contract to design Uganda-Kenya pipeline

Japan’s Toyota Tsusho has won a contract to design an oil export pipeline from Uganda to Kenya’s coast, a Kenyan official says.

According to Joseph Njoroge, the Kenya Energy Ministry’s principal secretary, Toyota Tsusho, the company awarded the contract for the feasibility study and preliminary engineering design must submit their report within the next five months.

“The final report is expected by mid-April next year,” Njoroge says

The actual construction of the1,300 km (808 mile) pipeline that is set to run between the port of Lamu, Turkana, Uganda and South Sudan oil basins is expected to start before the end of next year.

The search for a company to do the job started in June when the two East African Countries and Rwanda invited bids for a consultant to oversee a feasibility study and initial design for the construction of the pipeline estimated to cost about $4.5 billion.

Oil discoveries in Uganda and Kenya and gas deposits in Tanzania and Mozambique have turned east Africa into a hub for hydrocarbon exploration.

Uganda is planning to start crude production in 2018, while in neighbouring Kenya, Tullow Oil and Africa Oil are expected to submit development plans in late 2015.

Kenya estimates its crude oil reserves to be about 1 billion barrels – which experts say is enough to make a pipeline viable even without Uganda, which estimates its reserves at 6.5 billion barrels.

Kenya’s government has said that the pipeline designer would also be required to supervise the construction of a fibre optic cable from Uganda’s oil fields in Hoima through the Lokichar basin in northwest Kenya, where the country has found oil deposits, to Kenya’s proposed Lamu port.

The consultant is also expected to design tank terminals in Hoima, Lokichar and Lamu, the ministry said.

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