NAIROBI, Nov 28– Construction of a crude oil pipeline from Uganda to the proposed port at Lamu on the northern Kenya coast has gone a step further after Japan’s Toyota Tshusho company won a contract to design the pipeline.

While Uganda is to start oil production in 2018, on the Kenyan side, Tullow Oil and Africa Oil are expected to submit development plans only next year.

In June this year, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda jointly invited bids for a consultant to oversee a feasibility study and the initial design for the construction of the 1,300-kilometre pipeline from Uganda to the proposed port of Lamu, a project estimated to cost about 400 billion shillings.

Energy Ministry Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge said here Thursday: “Toyota Tsusho have already been awarded the contract for the feasibility study and preliminary engineering design, and their final report is expected by mid-April next year.”

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.

Toyota Tshusho 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 the proposed Lamu port.

The Ministry of Energy says the consultant is also expected to design tank terminals in Hoima, Lokichar and Lamu.

Meanwhile, Internet Service Provider Callkey Networks has said it will be giving special focus to players in the oil and gas industry by providing specially customized products that suits the various needs identified in the region.

In special focus will be the provision of guaranteed services that meet data demands recognized by companies already carrying activities surrounding exploration and seismic acquisition.


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