TOTAL hits another hard-rock in Uganda-Tanzania oil pipeline venture

EFFORTS by oil giant TOTAL to get more finances for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, has reportedly landed on a hard-rock following a refusal by three French banks to provide project financing.

SAUTI KUBWA has leant that BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Crédit Agricole will not participate in financing the project.

The banks have joined other banks in France, UK and South Africa to boycott the financing of the $3.5 billion project that is set to start soon.

Reclaim Finance’s founder Lucie Pinson welcomed the move, saying it was a “major blow for this polluting and unjust pipeline.”

Pinson went on to say the banks should not finance new oil and gas projects of TOTAL and that the shareholders should vote against the company’s climate strategy.

TOTAL is holding its AGM on May 28, 2021. Shareholders will vote on TOTAL’s plans for carbon neutrality by 2050, with a 15% reduction by 2030.

Reclaim Finance has criticised TOTAL for failing to include its scope 3 emissions in its carbon neutrality plans, outside Europe.

It has said the vote at TOTAL ’s AGM is about communication. “Total does not need to be encouraged to communicate on its climate strategy; Total needs to be pushed to adopt a climate strategy that is compatible with a viable climate trajectory,” it has said.

BankTrack researcher Ryan Brightwell called on Standard Bank, SMBC and ICBC “to take these concerns seriously and withdraw their support”.

TOTAL committed to the Lake Albert development, which includes EACOP, on April 11. However, it has not concluded talks on securing the expected $2.5 billion of financing thought to be required to build the world’s longest heated pipeline.

Crédit Agricole has provided $7.3 billion of financing to Total between 2016 and 2020, while BNP Paribas provided nearly $6bn. The four French banks in total have provided more than $16bn to Total, it said.