Amazon Watch: Activists warn against financing Peru Camisea gas project

A delegation of human rights and environmental activists from Peru appealed to officials from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) yesterday to reject future loans to the Camisea gas project. The delegation argued that the banks would be breaching their social and environmental safeguard standards if they approve more than $1 billion in public financing to the project. The delegation includes Congresswoman Gloria Ramos and representatives of Peru’s national indigenous organization, AIDESEP.

If the loans are approved, the project would begin construction of a liquefaction plant on Peru’s pacific coast. The IDB and Ex-Im are expected to make their decision regarding the loans in late December. The World Bank will announce its decision in mid-January.

In February 2000, the Peruvian Government awarded Texas-based Hunt Oil and its partner’s exclusive rights for 40 years to develop and produce the Camisea gas fields located in Peru’s south-eastern Amazon basin. The $1.6 billion Camisea project is the largest energy project in Peruvian history. Block 88, as the original Camisea concession is known, holds some of the largest undeveloped gas reserves in South America.

According to Hunt Oil, ¨the current facilities have the capacity to process approximately 500 MMC/D of wet gas at the gas processing facilities on the Urubamba River and 50,000 barrels of associated hydrocarbon liquids at its processing facility on the Peruvian coast.¨

But San Francisco-based Amazon Watch maintains that Camisea is ¨arguably the most damaging project in the Amazon basin.¨ Critics say it has contaminated a biodiversity hot spot that was in pristine condition and has infringed on indigenous land resulting in health and social problems for thousands of native people. Seventy-five percent of gas extraction operations for Block 88, for instance, are located inside a state reserve for indigenous tribes.

¨Any foreign investment in Peru needs to be for the benefit of the Peruvian people,¨ said Congresswoman Ramos. ¨So far, Camisea has had very negative impacts for local communities. The Peruvian State is failing to provide regulation and good governance and the Banks need to know this.¨

Sharing is caring!

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.