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Panyu Chu Kong Steel Pipe Co. Ltd, the company which is contracted to supply line pipes to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), has said that the first batch of 100 kms of pipes are in the process of being delivered to the port of Tanga, in Tanzania 

A flag off ceremony to mark the milestone is planned for 30 October. “We are committed to ensuring timely delivery,” said PCK president, Xie Leshan,at a meeting with a delegation of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) led by executive director Ernest Rubondo. The team visited PCK’s Pipe Mill in Lianyungang as part of a verification and validation visit to China ahead of accelerated project timelines for the CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation) group of companies. 

CNOOC is one of the key players in the Uganda oil sector and operator of the Kingfisher Development Area (KDA).

During the visit by PAU, which coincided with China's Belt and Road Initiative forum, Rubondo and Liu Yongjie, chairman, CNOOC International, met at the CNOOC International Headquarters in Beijing.

“This meeting signifies an important development in the ongoing collaboration between Uganda and China in the oil and gas sector,” said Rubondo, who added that the PAU delegation had the opportunity to visit various professional companies within the CNOOC group relevant to the oil and gas projects in Uganda.

Liu and Rubondo discussed the progress of the Kingfisher project and received assurances of CNOOC's commitment to fulfilling its responsibilities on this project and expand cooperation to deliver a ‘shining star’ project in Uganda.

Also discussed were strategies for the commercialisation of Uganda's oil and gas resources and ways to maximise the in-country value generated by these projects, extending to local communities and industries, thereby fostering economic growth and development.

Rubondo and Liu agreed that development of national and local content is the best way to ensure a win-win situation from the Kingfisher project.

The delegation also toured the Shougang Beijing Group's Qian'an steel mill, which supplies the steel plates used in the manufacturing of pipes for EACOP. “This is a crucial component of the project, as the quality and timely delivery of materials are vital for the successful execution of the pipeline project which ensures the delivery of Kingfisher and Tilenga crude to Tanga for export,” Rubondo said.

PAU in a statement said that the China visit symbolised the collaborative efforts between Uganda and China in the oil and gas sector, with a particular emphasis on the successful execution of key projects like the Kingfisher, Tilenga and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

“The visit is not only an exchange with CNOOC and contractors, but also an understanding of the achievements of Chinese-style modernisation and the Belt and Road Initiative. These collaborations not only have economic implications but also contribute to the development and growth of both nations' oil and gas industries” the statement added.

EACOP will have the capacity to pump up to 230,000 barrels of crude oil daily down a specially designed 1,443km-long 'smart' pipe from western Uganda to the Indian Ocean coastline of Tanzania. Some parts of the pipe will be heated so that the high-grade Ugandan crude, which is waxy like shoe polish at surface temperatures, will flow evenly. The pipe, which will be buried along all of its length at up to 6 m below the surface, will be lined with hi-tech insulation as well sensors and cut-off valves to minimise the risk of leaks.