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KAMPALA - Standard Bank Group’s Ugandan unit plans to raise $3 billion (R40bn) for a crude pipeline by the second half of next year as the East African country prepares to start oil production by 2020. 

Stanbic Uganda and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking were appointed the joint financial adviser for the 1445km pipeline, said Patrick Mweheire, the CEO of the Kampala-based business. The companies will explore raising bank debt or loans from export credit agencies, among other options, he said, without giving more details.

The pipeline will connect Uganda’s Hoima oilfields in the west to the port of Tanga in neighbouring Tanzania. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart, John Magufuli, commissioned the construction of the pipeline earlier this month. France’s Total, China’s Cnooc and London-based Tullow Oil are jointly developing the country’s oil finds. 

“A lot of activities are going on, a lot of tenders are being made”, and expectations are that the final investment decision for the project will be made in the first quarter of next year,  Mweheire concluded.