OMV Turkey: Gas to Electricity plant – from conflict avoidance to partnership creation
What is the challenge?
Starting to build a natural gas-powered electricity-generating station in Northeast Turkey, on a seaside site, without structured stakeholder engagement and feedback built into the design and implementation, raised a number of permitting challenges for OMV. These resulted in project delays and an NGO campaign being mobilised against the project.
What solution was adopted?
In 2010, astoneco helped to:
- clarify internal and external stakeholder perspectives on material issues linked to the site;
- conduct internal alignment exercises to identify where the project team was, and where it needed to be, in their local relationships concerning the project;
- enable key stakeholder groups, including OMV representatives, the representatives of local authorities and community opinion leaders and concerned citizens to identify risks, opportunities, common ground and win-win solutions.
As local dialogue developed, it became apparent that more transparent information sharing and decision-making was required around the project, including how local concerns on environment, compensation and community health & safety would be addressed.
During 2011, astoneco facilitated the creation of a platform and vehicle for dialogue and collaboration to enable more informed and transparent decisions and sustainability-supporting activities. This resulted in a multi-stakeholder partnership – KoGeB (Kozluk Community Resources Partnership).
To build a representative partnership, OMV internal stakeholders worked closely with the mayor, local councillors and teachers to engage other interested stakeholders and, within the constraints of the project timeline, leaders were selected to represent various groups of stakeholders. Further, through the KoGeB partnership:
- visits were conducted at the construction site and to other similar plants,
- all parties’ opinions and feedback were sought on issues that could have posed or been believed to pose risks to the community; and material information was exchanged regularly, enabling informed dialogue and decisions,
- dormant natural, human, social, manufactured and financial resources were effectively mobilised to develop the community and its partners, and
- local stakeholders could meet their social responsibility.
Key steps along the way were: pro-actively listening to and addressing feedback from stakeholders; capacity building & coaching of internal and other key stakeholders; and conducting a facilitated participatory decision-making process to develop solutions and put them into action.
As the project matured, the Kozluk partnership undertook a series of community investment projects financially supported by OMV and the local authorities. The plant is currently operational and the partnership is on-going. More information available here.