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29 May 2022

Julius Barigaba, The EastAfrican

East Africa: Five banks incl. Deutsche Bank, Citi, JPMorgan Chase opt out of financing EACOP due to human rights concerns

"Eacop’s $5b financing headache as environment activists pile pressure"

In a week when seven more financiers publicly distanced themselves from backing the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (Eacop), executives from the Ugandan government and oil companies remained confident that the financing package for the project — which is key to the commercialisation of Uganda’s oil — is on the home stretch and will be tied up in two months...Insiders say arranging Eacop’s financing has been a “headache,” a “slow and complex process” due to the environment concerns and negative campaign by climate activists. “It has been difficult,” a source said. “Every time something is said or written about this project, a financier drops out.”...

A fortnight ago, climate activist Dominika Lasota confronted France President Emmanuel Macron in Brussels, asking him to denounce Eacop, cut off support and stop the project in which the French major TotalEnergies holds a 62 percent stake. Such campaigns have seen major lenders desert the company as the push for clean energy sources gains currency. “Total and allies were in a hurry to announce their final investment decision in early February this year. Since then the list of banks and insurers staying away from Eacop has been growing,” Omar Elmawi, the coordinator of the #StopEacop Coalition, said last week.

Last week alone, five banks — Deutsche Bank, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley — confirmed they would not finance the Eacop. Insurer Beazley Group and the Italian export credit agency SACE also opted out.