In November 2010 the EBRD, together with the European Union, announced its involvement in the EUR 1.2 billion Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) safety upgrade project for Ukraine. While safety upgrades at first appear a positive initiative, this project makes sense only in the context of NPP lifetime extensions, otherwise there is no reason to finance costly upgrades for facilities that will anyway close in a couple of years. And though the project promoter clearly links these safety upgrades with lifetime extensions, the EBRD is reticent to do so.
In 2010, the EBRD approved a EUR 100 million loan for the Sostanj lignite power plant unit 6 (TES 6) project with a further EUR 100 million syndicated to commercial banks. A recent report on the management of the project has important implications for the EBRD's involvement and raises questions about the project appraisal process that led the EBRD to approve the project.
The hydropower plant, planned to be constructed underground in a karst area near Dubrovnik, brings with it specific hydrological and ecological impacts, particularly on cave-dwelling species. Consequently, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process is of utmost importance, but has been held 11 years before the beginning of procurement. Opportunities for the public to comment on and influence the project's decision making process have thus been highly questionable.
On April 14 2011 the Minister of Economy of Slovenia, presented a report on the management of the Sostanj TES 6 project to the Government of Slovenia. In the report many shortcomings of the project are highlighted, which led the Government to state that it will only support a state guarantee for the EIB loan amounting to EUR 440 million if the economic efficiency of the project can be improved.
An opaque web of offshore companies and oligarchs behind the controversial EUR 1.5 billion first section of the Moscow–St. Petersburg motorway public-private partnership provides new grounds for the Russian government to re-examine the controversial project, according to this new research by CEE Bankwatch Network and the Movement to Defend Khimki Forest.
In 2010 Ukraine joined the European Energy Community to integrate into the European electricity and gas markets. The Ukrainian government is looking to the EU and international financial institutions to sponsor a warily nuclear-intensive, export-oriented energy program.
As the world marks the 25th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl and against the backdrop of the threat from Fukushima's nuclear facilities, our study reveals that the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are indirectly supporting lifetime extensions of old Ukrainian nuclear reactors as a means to secure 'cheap' Ukrainian electricity exports to the EU Member States.
The letter to representatives of the UN Global Compact gives details on the failure to respect commitments under the Global Compact initiative by the construction company Vinci in connection with the Moscow St. Petersburg motorway project (near Khimki).
Consultations for the future Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) has not been promoted adequately to attract attention and inputs from civil society. Bankwatch and its partners and members from the Western Balkan region therefore request to prolong the consultation period and promote the call for consultations more widely.
As a result of the recent revolts in the Southern Mediterranean, the European Commission proposed March 8 that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development be given a leading role in promoting democratisation and development in the region. But NGOs argue that the EBRD's mandate should not be expanded for the foreseeable future.
The European Commission's announced plans to give the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction leading roles in promoting democratisation and development in the Southern Mediterranean region.
Counter Balance and Bankwatch are concerned that both institutions first need to demonstrate their ability to bring environmentally sustainable and socially positive development impacts. We also call for an immediate investigation into the EIB financing to the Mediterranean so far, to examine whether corrupted elites have benefited from the bank's loans.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's transition indicators for some time already were rather disconnected from the situation in the EBRD's countries of operation. Our comments are premised on the point that the ultimate goal of transition is not only a market economy, but an environmentally sustainable and socially just one.
Over the past few years, a series of strategies, agreements and loans have brought the EU and Ukraine into closer cooperation on perpetuating nuclear and carbon-intensive energy infrastructure and generation, with international financial institutions (IFIs) brokering the deals.