KAMPALA, Gulf Interstate Engineering, the American firm contracted by project partners Total E&P Uganda, China National Offshore Oil Corporation Uganda and Tullow Oil Uganda to conduct the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for its export pipeline, has completed the process.

Other partners in the project are the Uganda National Oil Company and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation. With the completion of the design phase, the consortium will next be inviting local companies interested in opportunities arising from the engineering, procurement and construction phase of the project which involves the building of a 1,445-kilometre long pipeline from oilfields in landlocked Uganda to Tanzania's Indian Ocean port of Tanga.

As Uganda awaits the Final Investment Decision by the consortium on the pipeline, Gulf Interstate Engineering has invited Ugandan firms to attend a workshop, where the FEED study findings and opportunities for Ugandan business are to be unveiled here Wednesday.

According to a media notice, the content development workshop will address the scope quantifications for the types of services and support required during the pre-construction phase of the project and estimates of labour requirements to support the construction of the pipelines and pump stations.

The crude oil export pipeline from the Albertine Graben oil fields near Lake Albert in western Uganda to Tanga Port in Tanzania is going to be developed. Since Uganda's oil is waxy in nature, the 1,445-km, 24-inch diameter pipeline is going to be the world's longest heated crude oil pipeline. Early estimatess put its cost cost of construction at around 4.0 billion US dollars.