The Business Daily reports:
Uganda will take its oil to the market through Tanzania’s Tanga port, leaving Kenya to build its own pipeline to Lamu, if the positions taken at the just-ended talks in Kampala are maintained.
It turns out that Kenyan negotiators showed up without having done their homework. For example:
….. it has also emerged that the Kenyan officials participating in the Kampala talks may not have had all their facts right as they tried to address the concerns raised by Uganda over the northern route for the pipeline.
This is odd, given Amb. Amina Mohamed’s chops. Or should we be asking questions of the energy ministry?
Uganda’s decision should be treated as new information on the capacity of the Kenyan state to execute large scale infrastructure projects. Kenya really wanted this deal, and the fact that the negotiators could not seal the deal with Uganda suggests that there is no there there as far as Nairobi’s capacity to execute on LAPSSET is concerned. This will undoubtedly impact the Kenyatta administration’s ability to originate new projects related to the $25b LAPSSET development plan.
The economics of the choice of pipeline appeared to not have mattered:
A joint pipeline between Kenya and Uganda would have had an initial throughput of 300,000 barrels per day (200,000 barrels for Uganda and 100,000 barrels for Kenya). This could have earned the pipeline companies $1.66 billion a year, which would be shared between the countries according to throughput.
…… If the two countries go for a standalone pipeline, Uganda will lose $300 million every year due to an increase of $4.07 in tariff per barrel, and Kenya will lose $250 million per year due to the increased tariff of $6.96 per barrel.
All else equal, this is probably a net positive development for the future of the East African Community (EAC). It is obviously a big financial and political loss for Kenya (and for that matter, Uganda) but it will dampen the idea of a two-speed EAC — with Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda in the fast lane and Tanzania and Burundi in the slow lane.
Interesting stuff! The unpreparedness of the negotiators certainly raised eyebrows (their visit to Tanzania was a shambles with their passports being confiscated at Tanga port by Tanzanian Immigration officials, so this was not beyond them).
However, I think that this will be a positive for Kenya (at least in the long run) in that the cost of neglecting huge parts of the country has now been laid bare and we should expect concerted efforts to secure and develop the North.
Future engagements with Uganda which have recently taken a political angle might also probably change to be more nationalist and hard eyed economically.
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