Stanbic Bank Uganda, a unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank Group, unit plans to raise $3 billion (€2.56 billion) for a crude pipeline by the second half of next year as the East African country prepares to start oil production by 2020.

Oil and gas exploration company Tullow Oil, which was founded in Co Carlow, is jointly developing Uganda’s oil finds with French company Total and Chinese company Cnooc.

Stanbic Bank Uganda was appointed alongside Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking as joint financial adviser for the 1,445km pipeline, Patrick Mweheire, the chief executive of the Uganda-based business, said in an interview on Tuesday.

The companies will explore raising bank debt or loans from export credit agencies among the options they are considering, he said, without giving more details.

The pipeline will connect Uganda’s Hoima oilfields in the west to the port of Tanga in neighbouring Tanzania.

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli commissioned the construction of the $3.5 billion pipeline earlier this month.

“A lot of activities are going on, a lot of tenders are being made” and expectations are that the final investment decision for the project will be made in the first quarter of next year, Mweheire said.

Fundraising for the project won’t cause “any currency mismatch” because borrowing can be done in dollars, he said.