(EnergyAsian, March 27 2014, Thursday) — Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp said it has agreed to pay a fine of US$88 million after pleading guilty to US charges that it had bribed Indonesian officials to secure a power plant contract in 2004.

Marubeni said it had resolved the criminal charges with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on March 19 over its participation in the construction of the 200MW coal-fired Tarahan power plant in Sumatra for state utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN).

The US authorities said that over a period of seven years, Marubeni was involved in a scheme to bribe high-ranking members of the Indonesian Parliament.

Marubeni said it secured orders from PLN to supply two power plant equipment packages comprising circulating fluidised bed (CFB) boilers and steam turbine generators worth a total of 22.8 billion yen.

In a statement issued in 2004, Marubeni said it teamed up with Alstom Power Inc of the US to supply the boiler system worth 14.3 billion yen, and with Japan’s Fuji Electric Systems Co Ltd to provide the steam turbine generator package worth 8.5 billion yen. Marubeni managed the implementation, civil building and installation works for the project till completion in 2007. (US$1=102 yen).

Marubeni said it was investigated by the DOJ on suspicion that it had violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for retaining agents to make improper payments to Indonesian government officials.It did not name the officials.

Sentencing has been scheduled for May 15, 2014.

Marubeni said the case follows the successful completion of its obligations under a January 2012 deferred prosecution agreement entered with the DOJ relating to a liquefied natural gas project in Nigeria. The Japanese firm was to have retained a corporate compliance consultant for two years to review and enhance its anti-corruption compliance programme as specified by the DOJ, and to report to the department regarding the results of this review.

This was completed in January 2014, and at the request of the DOJ the related proceeding was dismissed on February 26.

Marubeni said the Tarahan conduct pre-dates the execution of the 2012 deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ. The company said it has undertaken extensive efforts to enhance its anti-corruption compliance programme which it believes to be robust and effective.

“Marubeni is taking this matter seriously and commits to continue to thoroughly implement and enhance its anti-corruption compliance programme,” it said.