$5 Billion EACOP Funding to be Supported by Standard Bank

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The top financial lender of Africa, Standard Bank, expects to aid in EACOP Funding as part of the planned $5-billion East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a controversial project that has had environmental campaigners call on banks to abandon financing for the EACOP pipeline.

The EACOP project, which is expected to cost a price of $5 billion, has a total length of 1,443 kilometer-long (897 miles) and will be constructed from landlocked Uganda to the Tanga port in Tanzania. The oil pipeline is expected to bring crude from the Lake Albert project in Uganda to the international oil market. It is designed to transport a total of 216,000 barrels of crude oil daily, with a ramp-up of up to 246,000 bpd, Uganda revealed.

Size of the EACOP

The EACOP pipeline, which is set to be the largest in Africa, is a part of Uganda’s comprehensive plan to develop its overall- oil resources.

The EACOP project is currently being developed and will also be operated by EACOP Ltd, a company comprising of the local branch of French supermajor TotalEnergies, as well as UNOC, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), and the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC).

Amid the prevailing controversies and continued calls on banks to halt the financing of oil and gas exploration and infrastructure development, Standard Bank hired in the year 2021 an independent adviser to help it come up with a decision on whether to accept or reject involvement in this ambitious project. The project has been strongly criticised by rights activists and environmental groups and has also faced criticism in the European Parliament.

EACOP Funding to be Supported by Standard Bank

The bank has completed its years-long environmental and due diligence review, the chair of Standard Nonkululeko Nyembezi revealed to Bloomberg during an interview that was published on Thursday.

“We have all the lenders on deck,” the executive added.

Field developments are currently ongoing and TotalEnergies could make an announcement regarding the pipeline in the months to come, Nyembezi told Bloomberg, adding that there is “complete commitment on the part of the sponsors of the oil projects to get it executed.”

EACOP Faces Opposition

The groups – Darwin Climax Coalitions, Sea Shepherd France, Wild Legal and Stop EACOP-Stop Total – say that TotalEnergies is liable for charges including destruction, damage or deterioration of property belonging to others likely to create a danger to persons, and failing to deal with a disaster.

Human Rights Watch in July urged a halt to the project, saying the project has “devastated thousands of people’s livelihoods in Uganda and will exacerbate the global climate crisis”.

TotalEnergies says that those displaced by the project have been fairly compensated, and measures have been taken to protect the environment.

Furthermore, the project involves drilling around 400 oil wells in Murchison Falls Nature Park, a biodiversity reserve and Uganda’s largest national park.

Lastly, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to proceed, saying the East African country’s economy will benefit from the project.

Also read: $3 Billion to be Sought for EACOP Debt Financing

East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Above Ground Installations Commence

EACOP Coating Plant Commissioned