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Over 260 organisations call on banks not to finance Total’s East African crude oil pipeline

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

Today, 263 community and not-for-profit organisations from around the world urged the CEOs of 25 banks not to participate in loans to fund the construction of the world’s longest heated crude oil pipeline.

In an open letter, organisations from 49 countries, including 122 African-based organisations, detail the alleged threats that the 1445 km East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) could pose to local communities, water supplies, and biodiversity in Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya.

They also warn that the pipeline – proposed by French oil company Total and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation – will fuel climate change by transporting oil that will generate over 34 million t of carbon emissions each year.

The letter to the three banks acting as financial advisors for the project – Standard Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China – and 22 banks that have recently provided finance to Total and CNOOC, comes as speculation mounts that a Final Investment Decision (FID), which would commit Total to mobilise capital for the project, is imminent.

The pipeline is expected to cost around US$3.5 billion. Of this, about US$2.5 billion will be borrowed from banks and other financiers. It is not yet clear which banks intend to participate, although the three banks acting as financial advisors are likely to join and act as lead arrangers.

The 263 organisations are demanding that Total provides full and fair compensation to communities already affected by the project, and are calling on banks to publicly rule out providing any funding to the construction of the pipeline and work with governments and other financiers to promote a sustainable energy future for East Africa based on clean alternatives instead of oil.

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