By Nicholas Bariyo

 

KAMPALA Uganda-The Ugandan government is ready to consider other investment partners to develop a crude oil export pipeline to the East African coast, amid criticism from the European Union.

According to President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda will not hesitate to find someone else to build the 900-mile pipeline should current French partner TotalEnergies listen a recent resolution by the European Union's Parliament to pause the $4.5 billion project.

"We should remember that Total Energies convinced me about the pipeline idea; if they choose to listen to the EU Parliament, we shall find someone else to work with" Mr. Museveni said on Saturday.

The European Union's parliament resolution, which was passed last week, urged the international community to exert maximum pressure on Ugandan and Tanzanian to stop the project, citing human rights concerns as well as environmental fears.

The resolution drew condemnation from Ugandan officials, who insist the project is needed to transform the lives of Uganda's 42 million people.

"The European Union motion seeks to curtail the progress of Uganda's oil and gas developments and by extension, the country's socio-economic growth," said Thomas Tayebwa, the deputy speaker of parliament.

The standoff could further raise fears about the already long-delayed development of Uganda's 230,000 barrels-a-day oil project, initially slated to deliver first oil by 2025. The project is a joint venture between Total Energies and China's CNOOC Ltd.

A spokesman for TotalEnergies said the company remains committed to the projects in Uganda and Tanzania.

"TotalEnergies reiterates that this project is major for Uganda and Tanzania," a spokesman said. "We are doing everything we can to make it an exemplary project in terms of transparency, shared prosperity, economic and social progress, sustainable development, environmental accountability and respect for human rights".

The pipeline has attracted criticism from environmental groups for its potential to add up to 34.3 million tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change into the atmosphere.

 

Write to Nicholas Bariyo at Nicholas.bariyo@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 19, 2022 09:45 ET (13:45 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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