NAIROBI, June 25 Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have
invited bids for a single consultant to oversee a feasibility
study and initial design for the construction of a
1,300-kilometre (808-mile) oil pipeline to transport crude to
the Kenyan coast.
Uganda and Kenya have discovered commercial quantities of
oil and plan to start production in the next three years or so.
Kenya's Ministry of Energy and Petroleum said in addition to
the pipeline, the consultant would be required to oversee the
construction of a fibre optic cable from Hoima in Uganda through
the Lokichar basin in northwest Kenya to Lamu, and tank
terminals in Hoima, Lokichar and Lamu.
It said in an advertisement published in Kenya's Daily
Nation newspaper that will also involve the construction of a
9-km pipeline from the Lamu tank terminal to an offshore mooring
"The pipeline is to be developed as a single project but
split into two lots namely Hoima to the Uganda/Kenya border and
from the border to Lamu," the ministry said, adding that
interested companies and consortia had until July 25 to submit
The ministry's principal secretary, Joseph Njoroge, said
this month the aim of having a single consultant for the whole
project was to ensure consistency in the quality of the whole
East Africa has become potentially lucrative for
international oil firms after Kenya and Uganda's commercial oil
finds and discoveries of gas off the coast of Tanzania and
Tullow Oil and Africa Oil, which control
blocks in Kenya, have estimated discoveries in the South
Lokichar basin at 600 million barrels, a level experts say is
enough to make a pipeline viable even without Uganda.
The two companies said on Tuesday they had found additional
oil and gas reserves at their northwest Kenya
Uganda estimates it has oil reserves of 3.5 billion barrels.
The plan for a single consultant and transaction adviser was
approved by the governments of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South
Sudan, Tanzania and Burundi in early May. Those countries make
up the East African Community, although South Sudan is still
only an applicant to join the group.
Kenya's plans for oil production have moved fast since
Tullow and Africa Oil's first discoveries were announced in
In contrast, neighbouring Uganda struck oil in the Albertine
rift basin in 2006 but commercial production has been delayed by
wrangling with oil firms over Uganda's plans for a refinery and
other factors and is not expected until 2016 at the earliest.
(Editing by George Obulutsa and Jason Neely)