Ghana: Meridian PSL-01/Tema
Forced resettlement, lack of compensation and occupational health & safety
The Project involves the development and operation of a new container terminal in the Port of Tema, approximately 20 miles east of Accra, Ghana. MPS has been working in Tema for over 10 years. The Project represents investments related to the first phase of the project and primarily consists of: (i) constructing a 700-meter quay for two container berths; (ii) creating a 70-ha yard; (iii) constructing a 3.5-kilometer breakwater; and (iv) dredging up to 16.9 meters. The Project is estimated to cost approximately USD1.4 billion. The project is financed by shareholders in MPS, Bolloré Transport & Logistics, APM Terminals, Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA), and IFC’s loan. According to project documentation, IFC has committed USD 195 million A loan and USD 472 million B-loan.
In February 2017, CAO received a complaint from the proprietor of Ave Maria Resort and Wellness Centre (the Complainant) in relation to IFC’s investment in Meridian Port Services Limited (MPS) (the Company) in Ghana. The complaint alleges the complainant and her employees were forced to vacate the property due to ongoing demolition, to allow for improvements to the Tema Port Expansion Project. The complainant further alleges she was forced the vacate the property by armed security personnel without payment of compensation and raised concerns that she is unable to compensate her staff for loss of livelihood.
CAO found the complaint eligible in March 2018. During CAO’s assessment of the complaint, the parties requested time to monitor the outcome of an ongoing court case before making a final decision regarding which CAO process they would like to pursue. CAO’s assessment period was therefore extended through October 2018. Once the court decision was made, the complainant indicated an interest in pursuing a CAO dispute-resolution process to negotiate additional compensation with the Company. However, the Company was not open to engaging in dispute resolution with the Complainant because they felt the issue of compensation had been properly resolved by the court, and that the court order had been completely complied with by the Company as far as compensation was concerned. The case has therefore been referred to CAO’s Compliance function, in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines.
In May 2019, CAO released its compliance appraisal report. CAO has determined that IFC’s approach to the appraisal and supervision of this project in relation to the issues raised in the complaint, did not meet the threshold of raising substantial concerns regarding E&S outcomes and/or issues of systemic importance to IFC that would warrant a compliance investigation. In reaching this conclusion CAO noted: (a) that only one land owner, the complainant, was impacted by the project, and (b) that IFC reached a reasoned conclusion that the compensation awarded by the court was consistent with PS5 requirements. As a result, CAO has decided to close this case.
CAO released its compliance appraisal report on May 20, 2019. CAO has determined that the issues raised in the complaint do not meet the threshold for investigation and has closed the case.
Status as of May 20, 2019