Georgia: BTC Pipeline-06/Bashkovi
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil and gas pipeline is a 1,768 km long crude oil pipeline stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. It is the second longest oil pipeline in the world and passes through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. IFC has invested $250 million since 2003 and the total project cost is approximately $3.6 billion. The project is operated by BTC Co., which comprises a consortium of 11 partners. To date, CAO has received 33 complaints in relation to the project ranging from individuals to communities to local organizations. In May 2004, the CAO received seven complaints related to the BTC pipeline project in Georgia, filed by a Georgian NGO named Green Alternative on behalf of affected residents. Among the complainants was an individual from Bashkovi, who claimed to have lost significant income from his apiary due to removal of vegetation from pipeline right-of-way during construction. To receive compensation from BTC Co., complainants’ bee hives were required to be no further than 300 meters from the pipeline right-of-way. The complainant alleged that his apiary was located within 200-300 meters of the pipeline right-of-way, and as such, BTC Co. should have provided him with assistance in moving his bees at least 7 km from the pipeline route, together with compensation for his lost revenues.
CAO accepted the complaint for further assessment on June 8, 2004, and released an assessment report in September 2004. CAO concluded that the complainant’s apiary was farther than 300 meters away from the pipeline right-of-way, and therefore outside the established compensation zone. Nonetheless, CAO recommended that BTC Co.’s beekeeping expert should meet with the complainant to discuss the complainant’s case in further detail, and remediate if necessary. The complainant refused to meet with the BTC Co.’s bee expert or BTC Co. staff to assess and discuss further remedies to the situation.
CAO believed its continued involvement would contribute marginally to resolution of the complaint and accordingly closed the case on February 8, 2005.