Uganda said it expects China Export and Credit Insurance Corp., likely to be the biggest lender for the nation’s planned $5 billion crude export pipeline, to approve loans for the project by April.
Initial estimates for the financing to be agreed by this month were affected by internal procedures at the lender, known as Sinosure, Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary Irene Bateebe said in an interview on Thursday. Uganda is engaging with the Chinese company to expedite negotiations and conclude the loan arrangement within the first quarter of next year.
The 1,443-kilometer East African Crude Oil Export Pipeline, which links oil fields in landlocked Uganda to Tanzania’s port of Tanga, will be financed on an equity-to-debt basis of 30%-70%, with total debt accounting for about $3 billion, she said.
Sinosure is expected to offer about $1.5 billion debt for the world’s longest heated pipeline, Bateebe said earlier this month.
Discussions are “advanced” for syndicated tranches of loans from African, Asian and Chinese lenders, among others, for the conduit that will carry 216,000 barrels of oil a day from Ugandan fields for export, she said.
TotalEnergies SE is leading the development of the project with a 62% interest, while Uganda National Oil Co. and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. each has a 15% stake, and the rest is held by Cnooc Ltd. The East African country, which has as much as 1.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil, plans to start production in 2025.