Uganda defends decision to abandon Kenya for Tanzania in oil pipeline construction

The government of Uganda defended its decision to construct an oil pipe line through Tanzania, breaking its silence on why it had abandoned an earlier plan to build it through Kenya.

Ugandan legislators on Tuesday questioned why government had abandoned an earlier plan to construct the oil pipeline from Lake Albert to Kenya's Lamu Port.

The pipeline will now be built through Tanzania'a Tanga Port.

"The government changed to Tanzania because it's cheaper than using Kenya's route to Lamu Port," Dozith Abeinomugisha, the assistant commissioner in charge of oil refinery in the Energy ministry, said.

Abeinomugisha said the Kenyan route would delay the project, as it lacks existing roads coupled with the fact that it is always affected by monsoon winds for up to three months annually.

The 1,400km pipeline will connect Uganda's western region, near Hoima – where big oil reserves have been discovered – with Tanzania's port of Tanga.

The project is expected to cost about $4 billion and create 15,000 jobs.