* Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda presidents met in Kampala
* New oil pipeline to boost Kenya's Lamu port plans
* Three states want to upgrade, extend an existing pipeline
By Elias Biryabarema
KAMPALA, June 25 Uganda has agreed to a plan to
build a pipeline from its oilfields to a new port being
developed on Kenya's northern coast, Uganda's foreign minister
said on Tuesday, enabling crude exports and boosting its oil
The pipeline to Kenya's Lamu port, where work on berths is
starting, would also provide a route to export crude oil from
South Sudan, which now relies on a pipeline through its northern
neighbour Sudan. Rows between the two have disrupted flows.
Uganda, Kenya and other East African states want to
capitalise on a string of oil and gas finds across the region
that could make the area a major energy exporter. But production
has been delayed, partly due to questions of export routes.
Another project agreed by the presidents of Uganda, Kenya
and Rwanda, who all met in the Ugandan capital, will involve
extending to Uganda and Rwanda an existing pipeline running from
Kenya's Mombasa port that now stops inside Kenya.
"It was agreed that we develop two oil pipelines - one
pipeline that currently exists and brings products from Mombasa
to Eldoret (in Kenya) should be extended to Kampala and Rwanda,"
Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa told a news conference after
the summit between Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, Kenya's Uhuru
Kenyatta and Rwanda's Paul Kagame.
He did not provide figures for the date or the cost of
completing the projects.
South Sudan previously put the price of a pipeline to Lamu
at $3 billion.
Extending the Mombasa-to-Eldoret produce pipeline to Uganda
was previously estimated to cost $300 million.
The product pipeline will be upgraded to allow the flow
both ways, the minister said. For now, oil products only flow
from Mombasa. Uganda, which plans to start crude output by 2016,
aims to build a 30,000 barrel per day refinery by 2016/17.
"Another pipeline will be constructed and will be for
evacuation of crude oil when it starts flowing, and this again
will be done between Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya, ending up at
the port of Lamu," the minister said.
That project could boost plans for Lamu, which Kenya wants
to act as an oil terminal and a port with transport links to
landlocked South Sudan and Ethiopia. It would also relieve
pressure on Mombasa port, the main regional gateway.
South Sudan, which now exports crude through Sudan to the
Red Sea, previously discussed a pipeline through Kenya as well
as a route through Ethiopia to Djibouti.
Kenya has already awarded a contract to a Chinese firm to
build the first three berths at Lamu.
Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda also agreed to revamp an existing
railway network and extend it to Rwanda and discussed power
cooperation, the minister said, adding the three states would
meet every two months to review progress on all joint projects.
(Writing by Edmund Blair and George Obulutsa; editing by Jane