Korean Civil Society Task Force Team & SK Engineering & Construction
Lead NCPKorea, Republic of (South)
Supporting NCP(s)
DescriptionSpecific instance submitted by a coalition of NGOs concerning an alleged non-observance of the Guidelines by SK Engineering & Construction
Theme(s)Disclosure, General policies, Human rights, Environment
Date28 Jun 2019
Host country(ies)Lao People's Democratic Republic
Industry sectorConstruction

Read the initial assessment published by the Korean NCP on 25 September 2019 - English

Read the final statement published by the Korean NCP on 23 July 2020 - English

On 28 June 2019, the Korean Civil Society Task Force Team for the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Dam Collapse, a coalition of seven NGOs (KTNC Watch, the People’s Initiatives for Development Alternatives (PIDA), the Energy & Climate Policy Institute, the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, PEACE MOMO, the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM), and the Korea Green Foundation) submitted a specific instance to the Korean NCP. The submitters alleged that Export Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), SK Engineering & Construction (SK E&C), and Korea Western Power Co.,Ltd. (KOWEPO) did not observe the General Policies (Chapter II), Disclosure (Chapter III), Human Rights (Chapter IV) and Environment (Chapter VI) provisions of the OECD Guidelines in relation to the collapse of a saddle dam built for the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy reservoir, which occurred on 23 July 2018. More specifically, the submitters allege that the accident was a result of the poor design and construction of the dam by SK E&C and that SK E&C and KOWEPO did not have proper emergency measures in place. Furthermore, the submitters allege that the companies did not provide accessible relief to impacted residents, did not meet with civil society groups, and rejected the results of the National Investigation Committee (NIC)’s investigation report. With regards to KEXIM, who provided financial consulting services, the submitters claim that it should have prepared safeguard measures to prevent and respond to environmental, social and human rights issues and that it does not have a disclosure policy.

On 25 September 2019, the Korean NCP published its initial assessment, in which it accepted the case for further examination as far as it concerned SK E&C and KOWEPO. The Korean NCP contacted the parties to invite them to participate in the NCP’s good offices. The Korean NCP however did not accept the case as far as it concerned KEXIM, deciding that it was not an organisation covered by the Guidelines.

SK E&C and KOWEPO declined the NCP’s offer of good offices.

The Korean NCP published a final statement on 30 July 2020, concluding the specific instance, and making the following recommendations to SK E&C and KOWEPO:

(1) Establish a communication channel to discuss issues raised by the complainant and continue the dialogue;

(2) Give explanation with integrity to the complainant regarding the details of recovery and relief activities, compensation for the residents, measures to prevent further accidents, among others;

(3) Adopt an internal system to create settings and cooperate on responsible business conduct (RBC) of MNEs, including the OECD Guidelines for MNEs and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for RBC;

(4) Send a report on the progress regarding the matter within six months after receiving the final assessment.