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Tiwi Islanders v Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim) and the Korea Trade Insurance Corp (K-Sure)

Jurisdiction:


Side A: Tiwi People (Individual)


Side B: Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim) and the Korea Trade Insurance Corp (K-Sure) (Corporation)


Core objectives: Whether Tiwi Islanders were adequately consulted and environmental harms properly assessed for the proposed Barossa pipeline that would run through a habitat protection zone near the Tiwi Islands. 


Summary
In March 2022, Tiwi Islanders filed a claim against two South Korean government export credit agencies, the Export-Important Bank of Korea (Kexim) and the Korea Trade Insurance Corp (K-Sure), in an effort to prevent the funding of the Barossa offshore gas development. The Barossa development is currently owned by Santos and the South Korean firm SK E&S (the latter of which holds a 37.5 per cent stake in the project), and includes the construction of a pipeline from the Timor Sea to Darwin Harbour. Kexim and K-Sure are thought to be funding loans to the owners of the Barossa development.

The proposed Barossa pipeline would run through a habitat protection zone near the Tiwi Islands, which the claimants fear will have a detrimental environmental impact on sea life, particularly on the turtle population, which are culturally significant to the Tiwi people. The claimants cite lack of consultation by Santos on the construction of the 300km pipeline and have filed for injunctive relief in the South Korean courts.

According to news reports, on March 31st, one week after the case was filed, Kexim’s board decided to postpone its decision on a credit facility for the Barossa project. “The decision has been delayed as we consider man factors comprehensively, including the need for the project, environmental and legal risks and ways to reduce carbon emissions,” Kexim told the Financial Times. “We are not sure when the decision will be made.” 

Full case documents will be added as they become available. 
from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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