Affected by the sinking in Maceió publish a letter on the sale of Braskem


Residents, entrepreneurs and social movements of Maceió (AL) released, this Thursday (27), a letter in which they recall the environmental disaster caused by the exploitation of minerals in one of the city’s neighborhoods by Braskem. The document is a reaction to the possibility of selling the company’s shares.

The deal, articulated by Novonor, formerly Odebrecht, and Petrobras, Braskem’s controllers, should generate around R$ 8 billion. The sale of the shares is scheduled to begin on January 31, but the companies have reportedly decided to delay the process after weak demand, according to Reuters.

“They expect to obtain approximately R$ 8 billion from this transaction. Then, on a date to be announced, they will start the sale of the common shares in their possession, ending their participation in the chlorochemical company. general and investors in particular”, reads an excerpt from the letter.

The report contacted Petrobras and Novonor, who did not respond until the text was published.

The exploitation of rock salt sank part of Maceió, impacting more than 2,000 houses, initially in the Pinheiro neighborhood and later extending to other adjacent locations. The damage affected more than 55,000 people.

According to the Brazilian Geological Survey, Braskem explored the ore for more than 40 years, operating 35 wells and causing soil destabilization and movements in the salt layer.

In the letter released this Thursday, residents and social and cultural movements allege that Braskem has a debt of R$7 billion to R$12 billion due to material and immaterial damage.

“These values ​​relate to the material and immaterial damages caused by the company in the environmental mega-disaster resulting from the mining of rock salt in the city of Maceió, a disaster that became known in March 2018 and which has already been reported by the national and international press”, they say. .

The purpose of the document, according to the organizers, is to alert investors that Braskem’s current controllers will leave the company in debt.

In addition, the signatories of the movement intend to alert those interested in buying the petrochemical company about the liability that will be inherited in the event of the sale being carried out.

The letter was sent to the New York Stock Exchange and to B3 in São Paulo. “We hope that future controllers are aware of the problems they will face and that they must resolve without delay, as the space for delays has run out along with our patience. Never doubt that few citizens, committed to their fellow men, can change the unwanted status quo” , they claim.

The sale of the shares caused apprehension among residents of Maceió who hope to receive financial compensation for the mega-environmental disaster. The fear is that, with the change of command, it will not be possible to receive the figures.

Meanwhile, the affected properties were vacated until the beginning of the year after an assessment by the Civil Defense because of the risk of collapse. Local residents who have been evicted from their homes receive rent aid or compensation to buy other properties.

However, according to the letter released this Thursday, part of the people has not yet been compensated.

“This reality is repeated with the municipality of Maceió, which, largely due to the anomy of its administrators, has not even opened formal negotiations for the compensation it deserves to rebuild and re-urbanize the city in the vicinity of the disaster”, the letter alleges.

In a note, the city hall of Maceió classified as untrue the statement that municipal authorities did not open a formal negotiation with Braskem for compensation.

“Since the beginning of the current administration, the City Hall has been in permanent negotiation with Braskem. Such negotiations, which have the participation of the State and Federal Public Ministry, are also included in the company’s own financial statements”, he informed.

Completion of the demolition works should take place by the end of 2022. The measure was part of an agreement between Braskem, the MPF (Federal Public Prosecutor) and the MPAL (State Public Prosecutor of Alagoas), signed in December 2020.

Sought by the report, Braskem said that the Financial Compensation Program has been in existence for two years, with 12,290 proposals presented to families, merchants and entrepreneurs in the area. Of these, 10,654 were accepted and 9,500 paid.

In a statement on January 10, the company said that it provides support to families, merchants and entrepreneurs in the affected areas, in addition to financial aid.

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