Exciting pipeline opportunities arise from recent Oil and Gas discoveries in East Africa

The discovery of oil and gas in East Africa has driven the need for new transportation infrastructure, opening opportunities for pipeline coatings suppliers. Significant oil and gas discoveries in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Uganda have turned East Africa into a key exploration area, attracting major oil and gas companies.
ne notable project is the construction of the world’s longest heated crude oil pipeline between Uganda and Tanzania, which is spurring growth in the region’s coatings market.

The 1443km pipeline, managed by East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Ltd, involves Wah Seong Corporation Berhad (Wasco) providing thermal insulation services. The $254 million contract awarded to Wasco’s affiliates includes building a thermal insulation coatings plant and providing pipe coating services, with completion expected by the end of 2024.

Polyurethane foam was chosen for insulation due to its thermal efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The pipeline will be buried, thermally insulated, and electrically trace heated, with additional corrosion protection provided by a fusion-bonded epoxy coating and cathodic protection measures.

In March 2024, EACOP Ltd opened a new coating factory in Tanzania to support the project. This plant will apply thermal insulation to the pipeline joints before their installation. The project has emphasized safety, operational excellence, and sustainability, creating job opportunities in Tanzania.

Looking forward, pipeline coatings demand is expected to rise in East Africa, driven by ongoing and planned pipeline projects in Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique. Tanzania’s significant natural gas reserves and pipeline expansion plans to Kenya highlight future growth opportunities. Kenya also plans a pipeline from Lamu to Lokichar, while South Sudan considers pipelines to Kenya or Djibouti.

Environmental scrutiny and human rights concerns surrounding the EACOP project may lead to a shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly coatings, as countries aim to comply with international environmental regulations.