African Oil Pipeline Project Inaugurates Coating Plant


At the end of last month, the countries of Uganda and Tanzania in Africa celebrated the commissioning of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) coating plant, marking a key milestone in the project.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Doto Biteko commissioned the facility, the Petroleum Authority of Uganda says.

The plant is where all the pipelines delivered from the Port of Dar es Salaam will undergo thermal insulation and coating. Afterwards, they will be transported to the different Main Camps and Pipe Yards (MCYP) along the pipeline corridor, ready for use in the construction of the EACOP.

According to the EACOP team, this will involve applying thermal insulation to all 86,000 pipeline joints, which will act similarly to a thermos flask to retain the warmth of the fluid inside the pipe while also keeping the external environment cool.

“Today’s commissioning of this plant is a true testament that the project is on course and at a point of no return,” Nankabirwa said.

As part of the coating plant’s design, all project pipes will be installed with aluminium raceways, an insulation layer, polyurethane foam (PUF), an anti-diffusion barrier and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) before distribution to the different lots across the 1,443-kilometer (about 897-mile) EACOP line.

“All this is aimed at safeguarding the environment and surroundings as well as prolonging the life span of the pipeline,” Nankabirwa added.

“Works on the upstream projects in Uganda namely Tilenga and Kingfisher Development Areas are also progressing very well with four rigs in the country drilling development wells and construction of the industrial area to host the Central Processing Facilities and their auxiliary part.”

Additionally, the EACOP Company and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) signed three Land use and Ports Agreements at the event. These included the Lease Agreement for land for construction of the Main Storage Terminal, the Marine Facility Agreement and the Marine Use Agreement.

Martin Tiffen, the Managing Director EACOP Company, explained that the thermal insulation and coating plant not only signifies technological advancement, but also creates numerous employment opportunities within the region.

During the construction phase, a total of 500 personnel were employed on site, while during the production phase, 270 workers will be involved in front line site activities, including running the thermal insulation production lines, pipe handling, logistics, maintenance and inspection.

The coating yard has to date received three batches of pipelines totaling 300 kilometers. After its “ramp-up” period, the workshop will have a production capacity of 110 to 117 kilometers of insulated pipe per month.

Production reportedly commenced immediately and will continue into 2025.

“We have two batches that are arriving at Dar es Salaam and by this time next year, all the 1,443 kilometer pipelines will be here with us and all works insulation works are progressing as scheduled,” Tiffen revealed.


Tagged categories: AF; Coating Application; Coating Materials; Coatings; Coatings under insulation; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Factory application methods; Insulation; Manufacturing Plant; Oil and Gas; Pipeline; Pipelines; Pipes; Program/Project Management; Thermal-barrier coatings

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