Kenya needs to focus on LAPSSET after Uganda pipeline setback

Analysts are urging Kenya to focus on LAPSSET (Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor), this after Uganda picked the Tanga Port in Tanzania, for their pipeline route. Uganda is Kenya’s largest trading partner and the Kenya government is still licking their wounds. Kenya discovered oil in Turkana, but does not hold the same deposits as Uganda.

However, LAPSSET still holds great potential as the country’s second trade corridor, after Mombasa’s Northern Corridor. LAPSSET was originally conceived in 1975, but has been slow out of the blocks. Lamu remains a security concern, due to previous attackts and its proximity to Somalia.

Mr Kiraka a consultant for Comesa,  and the executive director of RiimNet-Africa, is urging the creation of a “Kenyan-based special purpose vehicle to coordinate project activities in line with Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Uganda”.

South Sudan has yet to make a decision on its preferred oil route, as they are currently negotiating transfer costs with Sudan. The South Sudan government has been hit hard by low oil prices. Kenya could be left building its own pipeline.