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Museveni Meets Kenyatta to Discuss Oil Pipeline Deals

Kenyan and Ugandan presidents are set to hold talks in Nairobi today Monday in a 1,440 kilometer crude oil pipeline from Hoima western part of Uganda to the port of Lamu through oilfields at Lokichar in Kenya.

State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said President Uhuru Kenyatta will host his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni to discuss the project, a key plank of the Northern Corridor Infrastructure Projects (NCIP).

The statement said Chinese, Irish and French companies have been invited to attend the meeting which came after Uganda and Tanzania said they will build a joint pipeline to evacuate Ugandan oil to the international markets.

"Uganda’s oil producers’ Irish company Tullow Oil, French company Total and China’s CNOC have also been invited to the meeting, which will be held at State House, Nairobi," Esipisu said.

The NCIP, being implemented by Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan, is aimed at opening up the economies of the region through infrastructure linkages and reduced bureaucracy.

The pipeline project was designed to move crude oil from the oilfields of Hoima to the Port of Lamu, through Kenya’s own oilfields at Lokichar.

Both Kenya and Uganda governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2015 for the construction of a crude oil pipeline and put certain conditions before the project could commence.

The two leaders said then that the development of a crude oil export pipeline needed to be implemented expeditiously to avoid any further delay in commercializing especially Uganda’s petroleum resources which were discovered nine years ago.

Sources said some of the issues to be discussed include the timelines for the construction, how to fund the pipeline as well as the security of the facility.

In construction of the pipeline, Kenya favours the "northern route" through Lokichar, because as part of the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) project, it would transform infrastructure and the way of life of the people in the towns and counties across its path.

By Robert Muriisa.

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