DAR-ES-SALAAM,Just days after Tanzania and Uganda signed an agreement to pave the way for the construction of a 1,400-kilometre oil pipeline from Hoima in western Ugandan to the port of Tanga in northeastern Tanzania, steps are being taken to appoint a contractor to carry out the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCm) work.

Total East Africa Midstream B.V (TEAM) on Wednesday invited interested companies to secure the job through a competitive tendering process to provide the services for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project (EACOP), signalling the start of implementation of the project.

The Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA), for construction of 1,443-km pipeline at an estimated cost of 3.55 billion US dollars to transport crude oil from Hoima near Lake Albert where oil has been found to Tanga Port, was signed in Kampala last week by Tanzanian Minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, and Ugandan Minister for Energy, Irene Muloni.

The two ministers put pen to paper five days after President John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart, President Yoweri Museveni, signed a communique upon completion of discussions on sections of the contract. The tender was announced on Wednesday to seek experienced and reputable contractors to tender for the EPcm services.

The company's statement said the services would include advanced safety culture and environmental awareness, provision of engineering, construction and management facilities to perform the services, procurement expertise for specified material and equipment, among others.