Malaysia: Bilt Paper B.V.-01/Sipitang
Water quality, land, acquisition, loss of biodiversity
IFC has approved an investment consisting of debt and equity in Ballarpur International Graphic Paper Holdings (BIGPH), a company incorporated in the Netherlands. BIGPH owns subsidiaries which are pulp and paper manufacturers in India and Malaysia. BIGPH is a subsidiary of Ballarpur Industries Limited (BILT), which is headquartered in India and is a previous IFC investee company. Part of the investment proceeds may be directed to Sabah Forest Industries (SFI), whose operations are located in Sabah state of Malaysia.
In September 2014, a local individual filed a complaint with CAO in relation to the project’s Sabah state operations. The complaint raises concerns that project operations are having an adverse effect on water quality of local rivers that the complainant and his community depend on. The complaint also mentions concerns around improper takeover of community land, loss of biodiversity and other environmental impacts. The complainant has requested confidentiality.
CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in October 2014 and the assessment of the case commenced. However, a detailed assessment was not possible as CAO was unable to reach the complainant after the initial contact during the eligibility phase. CAO facilitated dispute resolution process requires voluntary agreement to participate by the complainants and company at a minimum. As this requirement could not be met and in accordance with CAO's Operational Guidelines, the case was referred to CAO Compliance for appraisal of IFC's environmental and social performance with regard to the project.
CAO’s appraisal focused on IFC’s assessment of water issues as the complainant identified to be affected by project impacts on water quality. Based on a review of IFC’s project documentation and considering the limited information on the impacts of the project available from the complainant, CAO has not identified substantial concerns regarding E&S outcomes of the project and/or issues of systemic importance to IFC that would warrant a compliance investigation in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines. Absent further information from the complainant, CAO has decided to close this case. This decision does not preclude a future complaint that provides more details in relation to the issues raised by the complainant or other potential E&S impacts of the project.
CAO's Compliance appraisal report, providing a full description of CAO's decision with regard to this case, is available under "View Documents" below. As of July 13, 2015, CAO has closed the case with no further action.
Note: An assessment does not entail a judgment on the merits of the complaint. Rather, the aim is to listen to people's concerns, understand the different perspectives, and gauge whether it is possible to address the concerns in a collaborative process.
Status as of July 16, 2015