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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
27 augustus 2005

FMO into clean energy for Benin and Togo

FMO will invest 18 million dollar through loan facilities from its fund for Least Developed Countries. Marc Buiting, senior investor officer: "It is meant for Togo and Benin, who wish to participate in the project, but lack the money." According to the World Bank, also participating in the project, the pipeline will accelerate economic integration in West Africa. The pipeline, some 620 kilometers, runs overland from the Niger Delta to Lagos, where it goes offshore with connections to Benin, Togo and Ghana, ending in the Thermal Power Station in Takoradi. Exploited by a consortium of Shell, Chevron, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company and the Volta River Authority, the pipeline will help replace higher polluting fuels such as crude oil, heavy fuel oil and gas oil, with cleaner burning natural gas, and brings Nigeria closer to the objective of eliminating gas flaring by the year 2008. Nigeria currently flares 75 percent of the gas it produces, a practice with severe environmental consequences. Nevertheless environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth have objected against the pipeline, stating that impact assessments were not sufficient, that citizens in Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana would not benefit from the extracted gas nor share in its revenues, and that forced resettlements were required. FMO's Marc Buiting knows the objections, but states that the resettlements have been performed according to World Bank-norms, and opposes the statement that the local population will not benefit: "Citizens in all four countries will profit from a better infrastructure and clean energy for a low price." P+ Webtip: FMO-pipeline