Lamu abuzz with construction as South Sudan seeks new pipeline

11 February 2012

The East African | February 11, 2012

A high level delegation from South Sudan has been in Kenya through the week to initiate negotiations with over rights of passage for the 2,000 kilometre crude oil pipeline the country has decided to build to connect its oil fields to the Kenyan coastal town of Lamu.

Initially, Juba said it would be building the pipeline on its own at an estimated cost of $3 billion, with Kenya’s role limited to granting right of passage. But it appears that as the negotiations progressed last week, Juba realised that the scope of co-operation with Kenya on the project will have to be much broader to leverage the latter’s experience in executing large pipeline projects.

The climax of these preparations will be a groundbreaking ceremony to be conducted by President Mwai Kibaki on March 2 that will mark the start of the construction of the Lamu port. Ethiopian head of state Meles Zenawi and President of South Sudan Salva Kiir are among the dignitaries expected to attend the ceremony.

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