Camisea project dependent on environment

April 3, 2006 at 1:23 PM
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LONDON, April 3 (UPI) -- Financial support for the controversial Camisea natural gas project in Peru will be dependent on audit results.

The Camisea natural gas project is seeking loans of up to $400 million to build a plant that will liquefy gas extracted from the Amazon rainforest, increasing Peruvian revenues.

The Financial Times reported Monday the Inter-American Development Bank revealed Sunday that financial support for the project, which is a subject of controversy among environmental nongovernmental organizations, will be dependent on the findings if environmental and technical audits.

In the first 18 months of operation, the pipeline saw five liquid gas spills, leading to concern about its environmental impact on the Amazon jungle and its indigenous peoples.

Atossa Soltani, executive director of Amazon Watch, told the Times the project "has forced contact with some of the last native Amazonians living in isolation, led to epidemics among vulnerable indigenous communities, and despoiled one of the world's most bio-diverse regions with massive erosion and contamination."

Luis Alberto Moreno, IADB president, was quoted by the Times as saying: "We are not even close to approving the loan. Without the audit we can't go to the second phase."

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