Takkom Jerry and LSD filed a complaint to the Swedish NCP against Nykomb Synergetics Development AB, a Stockholm-based company that offers process and power systems, engineering consultancy and project development services. Takkom Jerry, a community in the vicinity of Dakar, Senegal, impacted by the a proposed coal-fired power plant, alleges that Nykomb breached the OECD Guidelines by not taking sufficient measures to avoid potential negative impacts of power plant, for not meaningfully engaging with the local communities whose livelihoods have been put at risk and for acting upon an outdated environmental and social impact assessment from 2009.
The complaint further alleges that community members who have already been adversely impacted by the project and have been resettled have not been compensated.
The complainants request that the Swedish NCP facilitate a dialogue aimed at bringing Nykombs behaviour in line with the OECD Guidelines. Given the scale and severity of the impacts of the project as is currently planned, the complainants suggest that Nykomb relocates its power plant.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
- Chapter II
- Chapter II Paragraph A10
- Chapter II Paragraph A11
- Chapter II Paragraph A14
- Chapter IV
- Chapter IV Paragraph 1
- Chapter IV Paragraph 2
- Chapter IV Paragraph 3
Seven months after receiving the complaint, in December 2015, the Swedish NCP issued an initial assessment accepting it. The Swedish NCP tried to engage with both parties, asking Nykomb several times to participate in a telephone conference or consultation with LSD/community together with the NCP. During the good offices stage, the complainants had two skype calls with the NCP, one NCP visit at the project site, and one teleconference with a representative of the company in 2017.
In 2018, the slow progress with the NCP complaint led the complainants to pursue related complaints with the grievance mechanisms of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO). Those cases entered the compliance review phases, and FMO published its compliance reports at the end of 2018 and the AfDB in January 2019. Nykomb has generally declined engagement in the NCP process, referring to the consultations taking place in Senegal.
Upon issuance of the development bank compliance reports, the Swedish NCP moved to conclude the specific instance and issue a final statement. However, because the complainants rejected the action plan developed by AfDB on March 2019, they asked the NCP to keep the specific instance active.
On 14 May 2020, the Swedish NCP published a final statement concluding the case without agreement between the parties. The NCP decided to delay publishing their final statement until receiving the results of the complaints filed with the banks.The outcome of the complaint filed with the African Development Bank included recommendations from its own independent review mechanism, ultimately triggering a process to resolve the submitter’s main concerns. The assessment of FMO by its own independent complaint mechanism noted non-compliance with company policies. FMO acknowledged a lack of due diligence on their part, particularly concerning environmental and social impacts. The company review mechanism will continue to monitor the situation for improvements.
Overall, the complainants express that, while they have seen efforts from the NCP to handle the case, ultimately the NCP has enabled very few outcomes. From a community perspective of seeking remedy, the complainants are frustrated and feel pursuit of the NCP complaint has been useless. According to the complainants, the NCP has said clearly that it has little power to influence Nykomb, because Nycomb is small with no oversight board of investors. For this reason, the NCP has relied on the outcomes of the development bank indepedent grievance mechanisms. LSD, the NGO involved in the case, believes the NCP’s outright admissions of its own inadequate power and means to handle the case, and its reliance on the bank mechanisms instead, exemplify the need for the OECD to strengthen its own accountability mechanism.