East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project Expected to Boost Job Opportunities – The Ankole Times

East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project Expected to Boost Job Opportunities

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

The impending construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) is poised to significantly enhance job prospects, as highlighted by officials from the Petroleum Authority of Uganda. Expected to commence soon, the project is anticipated to create approximately 14,000 job opportunities, marking a substantial increase in employment within the oil and gas sector.

Kenneth Peter Bintu, the enterprise development officer at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, revealed that the oil and gas sector presently employs 13,067 individuals directly through licensed companies and contractors. Notably, approximately 90% of these employees are Ugandan nationals. Bintu outlined that between 2022 and 2023, the sector employed 13,800 individuals, with a subsequent reduction to 13,067 due to various development activities slowing down.

However, with the commencement of the EACOP project, the workforce is expected to expand to 14,000 individuals. Spearheaded by the Governments of Uganda and Tanzania, along with Total Energies and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the project has seen investments totaling $7.1 billion, with $1.9 billion allocated to Ugandan contracts.

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Speaking at the CNOOC National Content Suppliers Development Workshop in Kikuube district, Bintu urged the Bunyoro community to equip themselves with the necessary skills to seize these employment opportunities. He emphasized the importance of skilled labor in various job roles associated with the project and encouraged local suppliers to register with the National Suppliers Database to access business opportunities within the oil and gas sector.

Efforts to prepare local suppliers have been ongoing, with 544 companies in the Bunyoro region receiving training funded by the African Development Bank. Despite these initiatives, Bintu expressed concern over the low registration rate, particularly among non-hotel businesses, highlighting the importance of database registration for accessing opportunities effectively.

Registering with the National Suppliers Database entails simple steps, requiring a registered company, bank reference letter, NSSF clearance, TIN numbers, tax clearance certificate, and shareholder details. Eric Jumba, the National Content Manager at CNOOC, stressed the significance of quality supply, emphasizing that adherence to quality standards is paramount for suppliers seeking to engage in the sector.

Providing an update on the oil project progress, Jumba noted significant advancements in the Kingfisher development project, with Excel Construction Limited, a Ugandan company, making progress in drilling oil wells. Additionally, construction activities for camps, roads, central processing facilities, and feeder pipelines are underway.

Martin Byaruhanga, Executive Director of BRADO, identified key sectors such as health, transport, hospitality, security, and food and construction supplies as opportunities for local communities to benefit from the project. Ernest Rubondo, Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, reiterated the progress of essential infrastructure development for oil and gas production in the Albertine Graben, expressing optimism for the commencement of the EACOP project and the initiation of oil production by 2025.

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Samuel Longoli is a distinguished news writer contributing to the journalistic endeavors of NS Media and The Ankole Times.
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