The Uganda National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has approved the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report for the Tilenga project.
It has subsequently issued a certificate to Total E&P Uganda B.V. and Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Limited for the development of six oil fields, an industrial area, buried infield pipelines and supporting infrastructures, including camps.
The certificate of approval has been issued with a validity of 10 years.
This marks a key milestone in the progress towards the development of Uganda’s oil resources. Whereas ESIA approval is necessary for the commencement of the project as per the legal requirements of Uganda, it is also a key prerequisite for the Final Investment Decision (FID) which will trigger the project execution and construction phase.
The ESIA report describes the main characteristics of the project, the potential environmental and social impacts as well as corresponding mitigation measures that will be implemented to avoid and minimise potential negative impacts and enhance positive impacts.
The purpose is to ensure that stakeholders are fully informed and decision makers consider the resulting environmental and social potential impacts, both negative and positive when deciding whether to proceed with a project.
The review process for the Tilenga ESIA began on 8th June 2018 and included two public hearings held on 12th and 15th November 2018 in Buliisa and Nwoya districts where the project facilities will be located.
Summary documents were also posted in the print and social media and other public channels to solicit for public review. Input was also sought from civil society, the private sector, legal fraternity and lead agencies.
Total and its partners Tullow and CNOOC are committed to being models of excellence whose mission is to operate in a safe and environmentally friendly manner for current and future generations.
“The development of the Tilenga Project’s Health, Safety, Societal and Environmental management systems, where the ESIA Commitments and permit requirements are already integrated is progressing. Impact mitigation planning, implementation and capacity building programs will also continue,” said the three partners in a joint press release.
“We are fully committed to applying best practices to the development of the oil resources by avoiding potential negative impacts as our first priority, minimising potential impacts and strictly adhere to Policies and standards that meet international requirements such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards (PS) of 2012, as well as national environmental laws and regulations.
“Our commitments are also cascaded to our contractors. We will also continue the dialogue with our stakeholders including NEMA as we proceed with the Project’s next phases.”
BY PAUL TENTENA