Multiregional: SN Power–01/CAO Vice President Request
Health and safety issues
IFC and MIGA have supported a number of projects with SN Power, a commercial investor and developer of hydropower projects. In 2004, the CAO received complaints from locally impacted communities regarding the Allain Duhangan project in India, in which both IFC and SN Power hold a share (see AD Hydro Power Limited-01/Himachal Pradesh). CAO Ombudsman facilitated dialogue and agreements between the parties from 2004 to 2008, and concluded its involvement in the case in March 2008. During the ombudsman assessment, issues related to worker safety and labor conditions were raised that were not part of the original complaint. CAO Ombudsman concluded that these issues had been addressed and verified through enhanced supervision by IFC.
In October 2008, independent statements made by SN Power indicated that several of its hydropower projects struggled to implement effective health and safety actions. The acknowledgements by SN Power and its owner companies raised concerns of the effectiveness of both IFC’s due diligence and supervision, in terms of specific projects and SN Power, as a repeat client. In December 2008, the CAO Vice President requested a compliance appraisal of IFC's/MIGA’s due diligence and supervision of health and safety issues on all projects where SN Power was involved.
CAO Compliance reviewed the health and safety reporting of seven IFC/MIGA involvements with SN Power in Chile, India, Nepal, and the Philippines, and released its appraisal report in December 2009. The CAO concluded that the case did not merit further investigation in the form of an audit. The CAO did find, however, that the Allain Duhangan project highlighted systemic concerns regarding IFC’s approach as to how it engages and assures itself of implementation of its standards when investing in, or acting as a minority shareholder in, a joint venture-type project.
CAO Compliance conducted a project site visit to the Allain Duhangan site in May 2010 to verify the accuracy of reporting, and closed the case in June 2010.