Wall Street Journal]
Greenpeace Wants WestLB To Cancel OCP Pipeline Financing
-By Stephan Kueffner, Dow Jones Newswires
DUESSELDORF -- Environmental pressure group Greenpeace Tuesday called on
Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale AG (G.WLG) to cancel its financing of
the $1.12 billion OCP crude oil pipeline project that is to be built throug=
rain forest areas in northwest Ecuador.
During a demonstration at WestLB's Duesseldorf headquarters, Greenpeace sai=
the pipeline and its construction threaten one of the world's five most
diverse habitats and that Deutsche Bank AG (G.DBK) had already pulled out o=
the financing due to concerns about the projects environmental impact.
In a statement, WestLB defended the project as meeting environmental
protection standards as set by the International Bank for Reconstruction an=
Members of the OCP consortium are oil companies Alberta Energy Co. Ltd.
(AOG), Agip Petroleum (I.AGI), Kerr-McGee Corp.(KMG), Occidental Petroleum
Corp., Repsol-YPF S.A. (REP), and Perez Companc S.A. (PC), and construction=
firm Techint (I.TCH).
WestLB also said the project had been approved as environmentally sound by
independent auditors and that a team including non-governmental association=
would supervise the construction.
However, Ute Koczy, Green Party member of North-Rhine Westphalia's state
parliament, told Dow Jones Newswires WestLB has issued conflicting
statements about the project which has led members of parliament to seek
The next meeting of the parliamentary committee involved in foreign
development issues will meet Nov. 26 to receive a report on the matter from=
the state Environment and Finance Ministries. Koczy chairs the committee.
WestLB is owned by state and local authorities in North-Rhine Westphalia,
which is governed by a center-left and environmentalist Social Democrat and=
Green coalition government. The state itself owns 43.3% of the bank.
State Economics Minister Ernst Schwanholt chairs WestLB's supervisory board=
"WestLB is autonomous in its decision-making as we - the state government -=
own only a minority." Koczy said. However, she added public pressure would
help determine whether the project has actually taken all possible
environmental risks into account.
Public protests in Ecuador had earlier led to some changes to the pipeline
project. The 503 kilometer pipeline will now largely be placed underground.=
Critics say that this could lead to underground oil leakage and contaminate=
Company Web site: http://www.westlb.de
Greenpeace Web site: http://www.greenpeace.de
-By Stephan Kueffner, Dow Jones Newswires; +49 69 29 72 55 00;