"We cannot control", Swedish company states

The Swedish company Bygging-Uddemann states that it didn't know that its equipment would end up in Western Sahara for the construction of a new port. 

07 April 2022

Screenshot above from the website of Bygging-Uddemann AB on 29 March 2022. 

The Swedish company Bygging-Uddemann AB has supplied equipment for the construction of the new port structure in Western Sahara. 

The new port terminal will be used by Morocco to increase the profitability of its illegal exports of phosphate products from occupied Western Sahara. The equipment - for the purpose of construction of caissons - was sold to the Greek-Dutch company Archirodon.

The Swedish company wrote to WSRW and Emmaus Stockholm on 23 February that it is “not present at the work site” in El Aaiun. 

“We have sold equipment to a company within EU with the delivery point Casablanca, Morocco. Reference country for this delivery and reference country is therefore Morocco. We cannot control nor guarantee in which territories or countries our clients decide to use their equipment in the future", CEO Henrik Magnusson explained to WSRW.

“We have delivered construction equipment on purchase basis to our Greek client (Arhirodon Group). Our client has purchased construction equipment from Bygging-Uddemann to be used for the purpose of international caisson construction works", Magnusson explained.  

He wrote that local permissions are not Bygging-Uddemann’s responsibility.

On 30 March 2022, Bygging Uddemann further responded:
Q: Will Bygging Uddemann ascertain not to conclude any further agreement in the territory – or for supplies to the territory – without first having obtained consent from the representative of the people of the territory? 
A: “We have no further activities nor plans for agreements in the territory”
Q: Has Bygging Uddemann received export credit guarantees from the Swedish government in relation to this delivery? 
A: No
Q: Why does Bygging Uddemann refer to the project location as being in Morocco? 
A: Delivery point is Morocco.
Q: Will Bygging Uddemann commit to not servicing any further projects in occupied Western Sahara as long as the conflict has not been resolved in line with international law (i.e. the fulfilment of self-determination)? 
A: We have no further plans – see answer in Nr 1.

The company did not respond to the following questions:
-When was Bygging Uddemann first informed that your delivery was in fact going to be used at the mentioned port in Western Sahara, and not in Morocco?  
-Does the contract specify the location of the use of the equipment? If yes, what location?
-Has staff of Bygging Uddemann visited the project as it has unfolded in Western Sahara?
-Is Bygging Uddemann contractually committed to supply any sort of maintenance of the supplies delivered?

The Swedish government is one of several that do not give export credit guarantees to exports to Western Sahara. In 2021, Exportkreditnemnden noted to WSRW that it has “explicit internal guidelines saying we don’t cover exports to Western Sahara. We screen transactions to Morocco based on this and ask questions to the exporter when necessary.”

HeidelbergCement expands in occupied Western Sahara

Last week, the German multinational acquired another cement factory in occupied Western Sahara.

11 May 2020

What is HeidelbergCement doing in occupied Western Sahara?

The German multinational cement giant HeidelbergCement owns a cement factory in Western Sahara. WSRW enquires about who gave the company permission to operate in the occupied territory.

02 March 2018

Incitec confirms it purchased conflict mineral cargo

The Australian company Incitec Pivot has today confirmed that it is the purchaser of a cargo of phosphate rock that the Moroccan government has exported out of the territory held under illegal occupation. 

27 September 2022

Melbourne miner inks controversial deal on occupied land

A small, new and unknown Australian company claims to have acquired a mining licence in occupied Western Sahara.  

26 September 2022