Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 20 January 2020 - Van Oord confirms that in relation to the Marginal da Corimba project in Angola it acted in compliance with the standards in force at that time, in line with agreements made with the governments of the Netherlands and Angola on the basis of information available.
Given recent publicity about this project, in this statement Van Oord gives clarification on the project and the points raised in the media.
In 2016 Van Oord, as part of a consortium with the Angolan company Urbinveste, was awarded a contract by the Angolan government for the Marginal da Corimba project off the coast of Luanda in Angola. The type of contract for the consortium is one in which each party is responsible for its own scope and costs.
The scope for Van Oord was design and construction of new land to extend the city by around 400 hectares. As is customary and in accordance with its own compliance regulations, Van Oord conducted due diligence on its own behalf as well a third party conducted due diligence into the consortium partner. At that time these investigations gave no grounds for not proceeding with the project.
The consortium entered into financial agreements with the Angolan government concerning advance payments, as is customary for these types of large infrastructure projects. These advance payments were made in three tranches to Van Oord and the consortium partner Urbinveste. Van Oord paid part of one of these advance payments to Urbinveste in a foreign currency to a foreign bank so that Urbinveste could pay suppliers from outside Angola in a foreign currency. This payment was approved by the Angolan government.
After signing the contract with the consortium the total indicated value of the contract was USD 615 million. This was a ceiling price. The final contract price, based on the actual costs, would only be established once the design and the related Bill of Quantities was approved. This project phase has not yet been reached.
On the instructions of the Angolan government and in accordance with its own compliance regulations, an external specialist conducted an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). The ESIA was then reviewed by a third independent expert and was formally approved by the government of Angola in April 2016. It was therefore conducted in compliance with national and international law.
It was recently concluded that the ESIA conducted contained no historical or other information about forced evictions which took place in the area for another project with which Van Oord was not involved. Further investigation revealed that the evictions took place in June 2013 which was before Van Oord started its activities in Angola. The Van Oord-project was awarded in 2016.
Van Oord is fully committed to international law and regulations, including the OECD guidelines. Van Oord condemns the practice of forced evictions without compensation and states that the people who were forced to leave their homes at that time should receive compensation.
Van Oord is committed to using its influence to bring this about, despite the fact that Van Oord had no involvement in this case.
Following the appointment of the new president in Angola, by a presidential decree in May 2019 the new government cancelled all the contracts for the Luanda project that were signed in 2016. The contract with Van Oord and the consortium partner at that time, Urbinveste, was one of the contracts cancelled. The same presidential decree also indicated that the government would like to continue this project with Van Oord. Van Oord and the Angolan government are currently in talks about the progress of the Marginal da Corimba project.
The project will contribute to new housing development and to relieving traffic congestion in the city of Luanda.
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