The 1,443-kilometer-long East African crude oil pipeline project (EACOP), which will be built between the oil wells in Uganda’s Western Region and the seaport of Tanga in Tanzania, has received the support of the African, Caribbean, Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU), overturning an earlier decision.

The endorsement came from a favourable vote at the joint parliamentary meeting of the ACP and EU held in Maputo, Mozambique. The East African crude oil pipeline project, which had a $3.5 billion initial cost estimate, will procure crude oil from Uganda’s oil resources in Kabaale in the Hoima area and carry it to the Chongoleani peninsula close to Tanzania’s port of Tanga. The crude oil is then sent overseas for refinement. The pipeline will cross 296 km of Uganda and 1,149 km of Tanzania, with a daily capacity of 216,000 barrels of crude oil.

The ACP-EU joint legislative assembly was persuaded to support the initiative by Uganda’s delegation, which was led to Maputo by deputy speaker Thomas Tayebwa, according to the Ugandan Parliament. According to reports, Tayebwa won support from the members for permitting a “just transition to renewable energy” rather than a sudden end to exploration, especially by the global south.

In a statement, Tayebwa called it “A big win for Uganda; the Ugandan delegation burnt the midnight candle to get to this achievement.”

Before now, the ACP-EU took a strict stance against new oil fields. However, it is said that it changed its mind and understood the importance of a fair phase-out and progressive switch to renewable energy. The ACP-EU also emphasised the necessity for a worldwide just transition as well as a substantial scaling up of renewable energy to meet the 1.5°C targets.

The $10 billion Lake Albert upstream project in Uganda had raised concerns in the EU Parliament over suspected human rights breaches in Tanzania and Uganda.