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IDB discusses results of social and environmental audit and pipeline integrity analysis of the Camisea Project in Washington DC public meeting

The Inter-American Development Bank on Monday, June 4, held its fifth public meeting on the Camisea natural gas project in Washington, D.C., during which outside consultants presented the results of a social and environmental audit and a pipeline integrity analysis of the project.

The environmental and social audit, carried out by ICF International, is a requirement included in the IDB’s 2003 loan contract for the transportation component of the Camisea project. The audit found  generally acceptable performance in the four areas of environmental protection, social, health and occupational safety concerns, and contingency planning and emergency response. 

The review also characterized the performance of the two project companies, Transportadora de Gas del Peru S.A. (TgP)  and Pluspetrol, as “effective” in the areas of erosion monitoring, re-vegetation and biodiversity. Mechanisms for communication to local communities and execution of occupational health and safety practices were noted as areas for improvement. The report recommended enhanced coordination of environmental management in the Lower Urubamba Valley of Peru overall.

The IDB ordered the pipeline integrity analysis, prepared by Exponent, Inc., as part of its supervision of the loan. According to the analysis, which included examinations of the causes of five spill incidents, the main risks to the pipeline as being associated with geotechnical and geologic conditions.  Geotechnical stabilization measures have reduced the risk, the presenters said.

The public meetings, which are held every six months, alternate between Lima and Washington, D.C. and are part of the IDB’s commitment to maintain a continuous dialogue with the project’s stakeholders.

More than 70 representatives from different interest groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, private sector companies and other institutions attended the meeting.  The Peruvian agency Defensoria del Pueblo and a Lima-based NGO Derecho Ambiental y Recursos Naturales made presentations on various aspects of the public-sector aspects of the project.  The meeting opened with project status reports from IDB staff and Peru’s Vice Minister of Economy Juan Miguel Cayo, who pointed to the project’s enormous benefits and the improving capacity of an array of government agencies to monitor various aspects of project performance.

Christian Gómez, Deputy Manager for department responsible for public-sector operations in Peru at the IDB, closed the meeting by saying that the day’s discussions will influence the Bank’s activities in other projects both in Peru and in other countries. The agenda for the meeting, a list of participants and summaries of presentations made by Peruvian government officials, the external consultants, civil society organizations and IDB staff, are available at http://www.iadb.org/pro_sites/camisea/townhall.cfm?language=spanish. The IDB will publish a summary of Monday’s meeting and an electronic version of some of the presentations on its web page on the Camisea project in coming days.

The Camisea project is comprised of a gas extraction component, owned and operated by Pluspetrol, a gas transportation system owned by TgP and a distribution component carried out by Cálidda.   The IDB approved a $75 million loan for the transportation component of the project in 2003. In 2002, the Bank provided a $5 million loan to the Government of Peru for capacity building and oversight of the project. The Andean Development Corporation (CAF) is a co-lender  to the project.  Other lenders include local institutional investors.