March 4, 2010 / 3:40 PM / 9 years ago

Japan's TTC eyes construction of Sudan-Kenya oil pipeline

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Japan’s Toyota Tsusho, the trading and investment arm of Toyota, is looking to put up and run an oil pipeline linking South Sudan with Kenya’s proposed second port of Lamu, the firm said.

Known as TTC, the firm also plans to set up a logistics hub in Nairobi with the possibility of raising local assembly of vehicles for export into the wider east Africa region.

“Other plans in the non-automotive sectors include participating in Kenya’s green power programme,” the firm said in a statement seen by Reuters on Thursday.

“In addition TTC wishes to participate in the construction and operation of an oil pipeline from South Sudan to Lamu, which will include building of an oil export terminal.”

Unconfirmed media reports quoted a senior executive of the company as saying the firm may be joined by investors from China in the venture.

A Tokyo-based spokeswoman for Toyota Tsusho, Japan’s sixth-biggest trading company, said the firm was considering many projects in Kenya including the oil pipeline, but it still had not made any concrete plans.

Sudan has vast oil deposits and in 2008 announced a deal with Kenya to supply it with half a million barrels of oil at concessional rates at a time prices of crude were at record levels.

The deal was, however, delayed due to Kenya’s lack of capacity to process Sudan’s oil which is of a heavy variety compared to the United Arab Emirates Murban crude it usually imports. Sudan also does not have sufficient quantities to meet additional demand, according to Kenyan oil sector authorities.

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