By Ronald Owili
Kenyan and Ugandan officials are set to meet within the next 10 days to forge a way forward on construction of the Lamu-Hoima crude oil pipeline.
The fate of the 400 billion shillings project became uncertain last week after reports emerged that Uganda opted to construct the pipeline through Tanzania.
Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau says should the two sides fail to agree, Kenya will then focus on its own pipeline from Lodwar to Lamu.
Kenya having discovered crude oil in Lokichar, is now commercially viable and Uganda having the same in western part of the country at Hoima, a joint pipeline to evacuate the resource to the coastline for export was deemed viable.
And due to the colossal capital requirement of 400 billion shillings over the 1,300km stretch, the two countries signed an MOU in August last year on the crude oil pipeline construction.
Last week reports emerged that Uganda had opted for Tanzanian route running from Lake Albert and Hoima to the Tanga Port.
It is this deal that has caused unease not only for Kenya but also potential investors.
Kenyan officials are now set to meet their Ugandan counterparts over the matter, and should they fail to reach a deal, Kenya says it has a plan B.
This puts a dent on the 2.5 trillion shillings LAPSSET project that is being implemented at slow pace.
With the 2020 oil production timeline, Kamau says oil from Northern Kenya could be evacuated by road to Eldoret, then by pipeline to Lamu for export before proper infrastructure is put in place.
Similarly, journalists are set to be awarded in 19 categories in the second Energy Journalism Excellence Awards.
The entries open end month.