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NORAD has paid 45 million kroner for a prefeasibility study for the construction of the controversial hydro power project at Epupa waterfalls in Namibia. Norconsult is one of the four companies carrying out the study. But last month the Namibian Deputy Minister for Mines and Energy stated at a public meeting that the decision had already been made; the dam will be built, and its location, just as good as given. Both Norconsult and NORAD persistently maintain that the prefeasibility study will not be completed till the end of the year, and no decision will be made before that. The Namibian press has asked whether the Norwegian involvement has attired the decision of the Namibian authorities with a scientific concept.
In the last issue of NorWatch, the focus was on Dyno Industries partly owned company Tenaga Kimia's collaboration with Malaysia's governmental weapon producer, SME.

NorWatch has revealed that the Norwegian company Norsk Hydro makes use of the hazardous cadmium in its plastic production in India. Cadmium, according to SFT (the governmental pollution control board in Norway) is prohibited as a dye in polypropane plastics in Norway. In Sweden, since 1982, the dye has generally been prohibited in plastics. And in the entire EEA it is strictly regulated. In Norway, no plastic producer uses cadmium. Nevertheless, Norsk Hydro will not promise to stop the use of cadmium at its partly owned factory, Hydro S&S, located in Pudukottai in India. They promise only to 'discuss case'.

-Cadmium in plastics belongs to the stone age, says Mr. Jon Øyvind Selmer, PVC-elected Representative of Norsk Hydro the Workers Union at Herøya. .

Brazilian authorities recently made public its report which identifies Tupinikim- and Guarani-indians' traditional land. Aracrus celulose, partly owned company of the Lorentzen family, now has three months to encounter the Indian claim, to get back a large land area which the company took over in the sixties and the seventies.

The consultancy company Norplan has the responsibility for information and public participation concerning the gigantic Hidrovia project in South America (see newsletter 5/96). Now Norplan reaps criticism from affected groups and environmental organisations. The opponents to the project describe Norplan's work as pure cosmetic work aimed at improving the reputation of the intergovernmental committee behind the job. Norplan does not understand the criticism, though they are not entirely satisfied with the job themselves. The last summary of the environmental impact assessment made by Norplan was censored by the client.

Thayalan Muniandy is the leader of Sahabat Alam Malaysia, the Malay section of Friends of The Earth. He is also one of the four lawyers who lead the case three indigenous people raised against the state in connection with development of the Bakun Dam in the Sarawak state in East Malaysia (see NorWatch newsletter 4/96, 6/96 and 10/96). This summer Supreme Court ruled in support of their claim that the Government used the wrong legal code when reviewing the environmental impact assessment for the project. NorWatch spoke with Mr. Muniandy about the background for the legal case, the consequences of the development and the potential to stop it.
Statoil's engagement in the Melaka refinery is a subject in this issue. It is a grave example of local people's interests being ignored by the industry developers and authorities. But the story of Statoil in Malaysia is more than that; it is the story about an owner of a company who will not take responsibility for the impacts of the company's policy.
Side by side with Tenaga Kimia, Dyno's explosives factory in Malaysia, lays one of the major manufacturers of ammunition and grenades in the country, SME Ordnance. SME's customers are the national armed forces and police force, as well as armed forces in other countries. Now NorWatch can expose deliveries and co-operation between the two companies - such as ammunition tests, in spite of Dyno's solid statement that all its arms related production take place in Norway.
Statoil's engagement in the Melaka refinery in Malaysia has led the company into a year long legal dispute between developers and people from two villages that have had to move in order to give place for the gigantic plant. 67 of the more than 600 families moved by force demand more extensive compensations for the loss of home and property, while some 300 fishermen demand compensation for loss of income. The relocated families are also upset over the two mosques that were levelled. Anything like this would have been unthinkable in Norway, where there are no examples that churches have had to be removed in order to give room for industry constructions. Norwegian authorities refuse to comment on the issue, in spite of the fact that the Norwegian Government has a 100% ownership in Statoil.
With more than 30 million NOK aid from NORAD, Oceanor has sold its high-tech environmental surveillance system to Indonesia. According to sources in NORAD, the aid funds were given in spite of the expert section being very critical to Seawatch and advised not to support the project, due to it being «totally  without developing effect for Indonesia.» NORAD on its side denies that its experts were against giving support to the Seawatch project, but refuses NorWatch access to documents in the case.
5523 affected people from the state of Orissa in India have written a protest letter against the planned bauxite project in their area, addressed to Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, The Norwegian Minister of Industry and Energy. They say the plans have large negative consequences for them. The Adivasies, the indigenous people in the area, are asking Mr. Stoltenberg to use his 51% control of the Norwegian company Hydro Aluminum to stop the planned project, Utkal Alumina. They wiew the new establishment as development in the wrong direction for their region. The Ministry of Industry and Energy has stated that they are not going to answer the letter.
At the same time as two Timor Independence advocates are awarded the Nobel peace prize, NorWatch reveals that the Norwegian company Blom is mapping the Timor Gap, the sea between Timor and Australia. They are employed by the Indonesian authorities, who are occupying East Timor. And the charting will be carried out with support from NORAD's (Norway's aid directorate) mixed credits. This can easily be interpreted as acceptance of the occupation.