7228. ESIA EACOP Oil Development - Uganda

The Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment received a request from the Ugandan National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to carry out an independent quality review of the Ugandan part of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project. The EACOP, for which the governments of Uganda and Tanzania signed an Inter Governmental Agreement, is 1445 km long and will transport crude oil from Kabaale in Uganda to the Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga port in Tanzania. 

Advisory reports and other documents

29 Sep 2017: Advisory review
Review of scoping report and ToR for ESIA EACOP Uganda
27 Jun 2019: Advisory review
Review of ESIA for EACOP Uganda

Significant details

Previously, in September 2017, a NEMA delegation visited the NCEA offices with the aim to jointly review the Terms of Reference and the Scoping Report for this ESIA. For this joint review an NCEA working group of experts was composed, contributing to a five-day working session with the NEMA delegation, and focused on quality assurance. The findings of the joint review are presented in an advisory report, accessible on this page.

In June 2019, the same working group has prepared and issued an independent advisory review report for the ESIA, which has been presented during the joint review retreat in the first week of July 2019 in Fort Portal, Uganda. In this retreat, apart from NEMA, representatives of 15 lead agencies and 10 districts participated. For the preparation of the advice, the working group members were not able to visit the 296 km Uganda part of the pipeline route. The review is done based on the information contained in the ESIA report and site visits performed to Uganda previously in relation to Tilenga and Kingfisher oil development ESIAs.
According to the NCEA, the ESIA report does not yet provide enough information for sound decision making. The main issues which need more attention are:

Content 

  • The NTS/ESIA raise high expectations with respect to jobs and other economic benefits. Based on the provided data and (lack of) reasoning/justification, this seems exaggerated. By raising (unjustified) expectations, future disappointments will be created;
  • The proposed technique for water and wetland crossings (open trench) has the potential of significant negative impacts, particularly in wetlands. This seems to be ignored and the ESIA report does not make clear that/why the proposed technology is acceptable. Also some other water-related issues are not fully clear like potential conflicts between water needed for the project and water supply for people and animals;
  • The ESIA does provide information on ecosystems that will be disturbed, particularly habitats for species of conservation concern and migration routes, linking project activities to potential impacts on biodiversity. 
  • The situation with landownership seems tricky: proposed mitigation measures are too vague. It is not sufficiently substantiated why the impacts will be negligible;
  • The energy/CO2 paragraphs are insufficient: most emission sources are left out, the calculations are not transparent and the outcome seems unrealistically low. In addition, the cumulative CO2 emissions of all oil development projects (Tilenga, Kingfisher, Refinery, EACOP etc.) have not been presented.

Form  

  • The ESIA states, but does not justify, that after mitigation no significant residual impacts are predicted.
  • Graphically highlighted messages are mainly positive or reassuring.
  • The summarizing recommendations are benefit–oriented only.
  • The ESIA does not explain what the key concerns are. 

The complete advisory report can be found on top of this page.
 

 

 

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Expert
mr A.J. van Bodegom
mr J.P. van Dessel
mr J. Griffioen
mr T. Ogwang

Chair of the working group: ms M.W.J.A. van Gool
Technical secretary: ms I.A. Steinhauer

Further details

Country: Uganda


Last modified: 16 Jul 2019