Georgia: BTC Pipeline-23/Tsemi
Resident of Tsemi
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. On June 24, 2005, CAO received a complaint from an individual alleging that his hay was damaged because of construction traffic and that during their assessment of the claim, BTC Co. took the sole copy of his land ownership documents and misplaced them.
The CAO accepted the complaint on August 25, 2005. BTC Co. rejected the allegation of damaged hay and was unwilling to engage with the complainant or CAO to resolve the dispute. The CAO made a series of inquiries in attempts to resolve the issue of land ownership documents, which BTC Co. says it has been unable to locate. CAO encouraged Green Alternative, the NGO representing the complainant, to pursue the matter with local government records offices and attempt to secure a copy of the land ownership documents.
The CAO was unable to help the parties reach agreement on the issue of the complainant’s hay, and requested Green Alternative take responsibility for locating copies of the claimant’s documents in a local records office. The CAO closed the complaint in December 2006.