The Tanzanian government has described as “encouraging” a French court’s decision to dismiss a landmark case against the energy giant TotalEnergies, which is involved in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project (Eacop).
The court recently dismissed the case filed by six Non-Governmental Organizations, which sought to suspend the project in Tanzania and Uganda.
A statement by Tanzania’s energy ministry says the verdict has “removed a dark cloud over the project’s implementation.”
Filed in France by four Ugandan and two French NGOs, the suit accused TotalEnergies of taking land from more than 100 000 people without adequately compensating them.
The organizations further argued that the developers of the Oil Pipeline failed to adhere to legal provisions that require companies to avoid serious harm to human rights, health, safety, and the environment.
But in its verdict, the court ruled that the case was “inadmissible”, stating that the plaintiffs did not follow the right procedures in suing the French energy giant.
Prior to the court’s decision, the Tanzanian government had dismissed the environmental and rights concerns raised as “propaganda”, saying that the country had complied with all the relevant requirements for such an undertaking.
The 1 440km long East African Crude Oil Pipeline is expected to transport over 200 000 barrels of oil daily, drilled from Uganda’s Lake Albert oilfields to the port of Tanga in Tanzania where it will be shipped to world markets.
The project’s supporters say Uganda and Tanzania stand to gain a lot economically through the project but environmentalists have been strongly opposed to it.
It is estimated that around 10 000 jobs will be created during the project’s three year construction phase.
Video: French court dismisses case against TotalEnergies
Report: Sabc news reporter Isaac Lukando