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Japanese firm wins contract to design Uganda-Kenya oil pipeline

Toyota Tsusho of Japan has reportedly won a contract to design an oil export pipeline from Uganda to Kenya's coast as the countries seek to start crude production.28 Nov 2014

According to Reuters, the principal secretary in Kenya’s energy ministry Joseph Njoroge said: “Toyota Tsusho have already been awarded the contract for the feasibility study and preliminary engineering design.” A final report on the study “is expected by mid-April next year”, Njoroge said.

Reuters said: “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.”

Toyota Tsusho, part of Japan’s Toyota group, is “also expected to design tank terminals in Hoima, Lokichar and Lamu” said Reuters, citing Kenya’s energy ministry.

Earlier this month, Kenya’s government gave Canada-based Africa Oil Corporation and its exploration partner Tullow Oil Plc of the UK an extra year to gather drilling data in the firms’ search for oil and gas in the country.

In October 2014, the World Bank and other international institutions pledged a combined total of more than $8 billion in new financial assistance to support infrastructure projects including the development of oil and gas pipelines across all eight countries in the Horn of Africa including Kenya.

The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) agency, which is encouraging UK firms to take advantage of export opportunities to win new business emerging from Africa’s developing oil and gas industry, said in August 2014: “The oil and gas sector in east Africa remains underdeveloped. New opportunities are arising in Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya and Uganda.”

UKTI said: “In these countries untapped basins and reserves are becoming more accessible as infrastructure improves. Opportunities exist for UK companies to get involved at a very early stage and develop these openings. Local supply chains in many areas can’t provide all the assets, equipment or services needed to fully realise the potential of the region.”